Trump Reportedly Planning To Pardon Michael Flynn, Start Of Spree

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President Donald Trump is planning to pardon Michael Flynn, his former national security adviser who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, according to several media reports on Tuesday evening.

Both Axios and The New York Times said Trump has privately told aides Flynn will benefit from a series of pardons the president will issue before he leaves office. The move would continue Trump's trend of helping several notable supporters and associates who have been convicted of crimes during his administration. (The president also pardoned a turkey named Corn this week, as part of a White House Thanksgiving tradition.)

Flynn has pleaded guilty twice to lying to the FBI as part of its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, but his legal team asked to withdraw those pleas earlier this year in an abrupt about-face. Several months later, the Justice Department suggested the charges against Flynn be dropped in a remarkable move that prompted outrage among Democrats. But the judge in the case, Emmet Sullivan, said he wasn't ready to do so and asked outside legal experts to weigh in.

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WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 20: U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to speak to the press in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on November 20, 2020 in Washington, DC. U.S. President Donald Trump held his first press conference in over a week to make an announcement on prescription drug prices as he continues to challenge the results of the 2020 Presidential election. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump watches from the motorcade as he returns to the White House in Washington, DC, after playing golf on November 7, 2020. - Joyous celebrations erupted in Washington on Saturday after Joe Biden was declared winner of the US presidency, as several people poured into the streets of the US capital -- some of them chanting, cheering and singing in front of the White House. (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN / AFP) (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
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President Donald Trump plays a round of Golf at the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling Va., Sunday Nov. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
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President Donald Trump gives two thumbs up to supporters as he departs after playing golf at the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling Va., Sunday Nov. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
President Donald Trump returns to the White House after playing a round of golf, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump returns to the White House after playing a round of golf, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump arrives at the White House after golfing Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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President Donald Trump arrives at the White House after golfing Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump participates in a round of golf at the Trump National Golf Course on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Sterling, Va. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
US President Donald Trump watches from the motorcade as he returns to the White House in Washington, DC, after playing golf on November 7, 2020. - Joyous celebrations erupted in Washington on Saturday after Joe Biden was declared winner of the US presidency, as several people poured into the streets of the US capital -- some of them chanting, cheering and singing in front of the White House. (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN / AFP) (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
President Donald Trump returns to the White House from playing golf in Washington, DC on November 7, 2020, after Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election. - Joyous celebrations erupted in Washington on Saturday after Joe Biden was declared winner of the US presidency, as several people poured into the streets of the US capital -- some of them chanting, cheering and singing in front of the White House. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)
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Flynn's legal team sued in an attempt to force Sullivan to comply with the DOJ's order, but lost the court battle, adding to the complexity of the case. In September, one of Flynn's lawyers told a judge she had spoken to Trump and asked the president not to pardon him. It's unclear if that request is still on the table.

The retired general has since become a major figure for Trump supporters angered with the investigations into Trump's presidency, claiming he was ensnared by what the White House has demeaned as the Russia "hoax."

Earlier this year, the president commuted the sentence of Roger Stone, a longtime confidant who was convicted on seven charges including lying to Congress, tampering with a witness and obstructing a House investigation.

"Roger Stone is a victim of the Russia Hoax that the Left and its allies in the media perpetuated for years in an attempt to undermine the Trump Presidency," the commutation read.

The Times added Tuesday night that the plans for the pardon are not final. Presidents often use their final days in office to issue pardons for federal crimes or commutations of sentences.

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