Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn denounced critics of President Trump and praised attorney Sidney Powell as an angel in a Thanksgiving Day statement, his first words since he won a presidential pardon.
Mr. Trump pardoned his first national security adviser a day earlier of his convictions for lying to the FBI in the Robert Mueller investigation, charges that Mr. Trump and others denounced as an Obama administration frame-up.
“I say thank you from the bottom of my heart. For the first time in more than four years and because of my fearless attorney, Sidney Powell, the Guardian Angel of American Justice, and thousands of good people with endless energy rallying together on my behalf, I breathe freedom and liberty today,” Gen. Flynn said.
The lengthy and personal statement, which began with “By Almighty God’s grace,” also denounced the four-year legal ordeal growing out of his conversations with the Russian ambassador during the Trump transition period, which became grist for the Mueller probe.
“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 said.
Gen. Flynn called the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane probe into the Trump campaign, and the consequent investigations as an attempt to overthrow a legitimately elected Mr. Trump.
“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,” he wrote.
Gen. Flynn had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his conversations with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and agreed to cooperate with the Mueller probe.
But he withdrew his guilty plea when Ms. Powell took over as his attorney, and she subsequently put the government on trial, accusing it of misconduct and calling for the charges to be dropped.
The Justice Department sought to drop the charges earlier this year, but Judge Emmet G. Sullivan did not agree and sought outside counsel, an unusual move that set off a new round of court battles that left the case in limbo as Mr. Trump’s term in office apparently winds down.