Former national security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn (Ret.) released a statement on Nov. 26, thanking people for their support, a day after being pardoned by President Donald Trump.
Flynn, represented by high-profile attorney Sidney Powell, had pleaded guilty on Dec. 1, 2017, to one count of lying to the FBI during a Jan. 24, 2017, interview about him speaking to the former Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, in the weeks before Trump’s inauguration in January 2017.
Before his role in the Trump administration, Flynn served as the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency during the Obama administration and was targeted on charges of “Russia collusion.” His case was used in a narrative that Trump’s campaign colluded with the Kremlin in an effort to sway the outcome of the 2016 election.
However, the retired three-star general withdrew his plea before sentencing when further evidence was revealed. Trump, Flynn, and other Trump surrogates have categorically denied they colluded with Russia.
Powell called the prosecution against her client “one of the most egregious injustices I’ve witnessed in American history,” in an interview with Fox Business.
In Thursday’s statement, Flynn thanked “every single patriot who circled me with their prayers, wisdom, and kindness.”
“Never again should any family or individual be so viciously targeted, maligned, smeared, and threatened such has been the experience of my family and I. Not you and your loved ones, not me nor President Trump, our First Lady, and the Trump children,” he wrote.
“Stand with me today in renouncing this betrayal of trust that has burdened our nation and proclaim with one united voice across this land that we will never again allow the rightful power of the citizens of this country to be uprooted, undercut, usurped, or held hostage by a coup against our nation, a duly elected President or any future president of these United States.”
Flynn said it had been his “honor and privilege as a Soldier and public servant to fight for the rights of American citizens and for citizens of the world” for over three decades.
“I have fought alongside the bravest men and women on distant battlefields in the midst of the fire and fury of war. In this fight for my life and liberties on the battlefield of justice and truth, my faith in God and the love and support of my wife Lori have seen me through.
“Along our journey together, we have been blessed to have the trust and support of millions of Americans across our great country and around the world. These are our Digital Army of Patriots who inspired us to keep fighting, uncovered secrets we would otherwise have not known, and shared with us their thoughts, dreams, and wisdom throughout this ordeal.”
The president on Thursday announced he had pardoned Flynn, writing on Twitter, “It is my Great Honor to announce that General Michael T. Flynn has been granted a Full Pardon. Congratulations to @GenFlynn and his wonderful family, I know you will now have a truly fantastic Thanksgiving!”