US President Donald Trump has pardoned his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.
The president said the widely expected act of clemency was his “Great Honor”.
Mr Flynn was convicted during a justice department inquiry into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Leading Democrats condemned the pardon. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called it “an act of grave corruption and a brazen abuse of power”.
The White House said that the pardon would finally end “the relentless, partisan pursuit of an innocent man”.
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter
Mr Flynn, who admitted in 2017 to lying to the FBI about contacts with Russia’s ambassador but then tried to withdraw his plea, responded by posting a tweet containing a US flag emoji and a Biblical verse, Jeremiah 1:19.
The verse says: “‘They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,’ declares the Lord.”
Who is Michael Flynn?
The retired US Army three-star lieutenant general was an early and ardent supporter of Mr Trump during the 2016 campaign, though he had been a life-long Democrat before.
Mr Flynn was among the new president’s first appointments – Mr Trump brought him on just days after winning the election.
The two saw eye-to-eye on many issues, including the advantages of closer ties with Russia, renegotiating the Iran nuclear deal and combating the threat from Islamic State militants.