Judge dismisses Michael Flynn case following Trump pardon

Mr Flynn was pardoned in November, three years after pleading guilty to lying to federal authorities

Tuesday 08 December 2020 20:01 GMT
Bill Barr on decision to drop Michael Flynn case

A judge has dismissed the case of former United States National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.  

Donald Trump pardoned the retired general after he pleaded guilty in 2017 for lying about his interactions with Russian officials ahead of Mr Trump's inauguration.  

Judge Emmet Sullivan of the DC District Court issued the dismissal.  

Mr Flynn became one of the first people to plead guilty as part of Special Counsel Robert Muller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.  

Three years after pleading guilty, Mr Flynn hired a new team of lawyers - including Sidney Powell, the conspiracy slinging "kraken" lawyer fighting to overturn the 2020 election results - and joined with the Justice Department to try to undo his guilty plea.  

Mr Flynn claimed he was entrapped and pressured to plead guilty by the Mueller investigation.  

Mr Trump's pardon clears Mr Flynn of lying to the FBI, working for the Turkish government without disclosing it to the US government, and any other charges "that might arise" from the Mueller investigation.  

The pardoning of Mr Flynn is unusual, as pardons are usually given to individuals who have been sentenced and imprisoned for some period of time. Mr Flynn's pardon is preemptive.  

Since Mr Trump pardoned him in November, Mr Flynn has been making the rounds in conservative political media, including hyper-partisan shows like Fox News' Judge Jeanine Pirro's show and former White House adviser Sebastian Gorka's radio show.  

Mr Flynn is also a dabbler in the QAnon conspiracy theory. Even before his pardon, the retired general courted the cult-like conspiracy movement. Some adherents even believed that Mr Flynn was Q's secret identity.  

He has been appearing on QAnon podcasts where he has claimed that the US was on the brink of total takeover by socialists - a completely fanciful allegation considering the incoming presidential administration is dominated by centrist Democrats - and has claimed that deep-state assassins are tracking him.  

Mr Flynn has embraced the delusional followers of the Q conspiracy, referring to them as his "digital soldiers."

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