President Donald Trump on Wednesday pardoned former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who had pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) about contacts with the Russian ambassador to Washington. Trump took to Twitter to announce the executive grant of clemency to Flynn, saying he “will now have a truly fantastic Thanksgiving!”
Calling Flynn “an innocent man”, the White House said in a statement that he should have never been prosecuted. It described the retired US Army three-star lieutenant general as the “victim of partisan government officials engaged in a coordinated attempt to subvert the election of 2016.” Trump is expected to use his presidential power to pardon or commute the sentences of his allies before leaving the office.
Here are some of the big names who were pardoned or their prison sentences commuted by Trump:
Roger Stone: Trump used his presidential power to commute the prison sentence of longtime friend and adviser Roger Stone, who was convicted on the charges brought as part of Mueller’s report. Stone had denied any wrongdoing and called all the charges politically motivated but his lawyers failed to call any witnesses in his defense.
Joe Arpaio: The controversial former Arizona sheriff was convicted of criminal contempt after he defied a court order to stop patrols targeting suspected undocumented immigrants. While announcing the pardon, Trump said, “Throughout his time as Sheriff, Arpaio continued his life’s work of protecting the public from the scourges of crime and illegal immigration.”
Susan B Anthony: The American social reformer and women’s rights activist played a key role in the women’s suffrage movement and was convicted of illegal voting and fined in 1873. In August 2020, Trump granted full pardon posthumously to Susan B Anthony for “a wrongful and unjust conviction stemming from the only vote she ever cast in an election.”
Scooter Libby: The American lawyer and former vice-president Dick Cheney’s chief of staff was found guilty of lying about leaks to the media. President George W. Bush had commuted Libby’s sentence shortly after his conviction. The White House said that Libby’s record, since his conviction, is “unblemished, and he continues to be held in high regard by his colleagues and peers.”
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