In a statement issued on the eve of Thanksgiving, Speaker Pelosi said Mr. Trump simply apologized for “protecting those who lie about his wrongdoing.”
Mr. Trump, 74, tweeted just hours ago, apologizing for Flynn’s conviction as a “great honor,” who has twice confessed to lying to the FBI.
“Congratulations to Jenniflyn and her great family, I know you’ll have a really great Thanksgiving now!” He said.
The apology comes in the days leading up to Mr. Trump’s death as president, marking the end of a four-year story about his administration’s alleged cooperation with Russia during the 201st election campaign.
Mr Trump appointed Flynn as his national security adviser in 2013 but was fired a few weeks later after he lied to Vice President Mike Pence and the FBI about his contacts with Russia.
The retired U.S. Army lieutenant general pleaded guilty in December 2017 and again in 2018 to making false statements to investigators.
Speaker Pelosi continued in his statement, “President Trump’s pardon of Michael Flynn … a serious corruption and a ruthless exercise of power.”
“Trump is once again using the power of pardon to protect those who lie to cover up their wrongdoings, as he punished Roger Stone, a publicity consultant, when he was convicted in seven criminal cases.”
Speaker Pelosi said Flynn’s actions constituted a “violation of our national security” and added that he “must be held accountable.”
Flynn was accused of lying about the conversations he had with then-Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak after the 2016 election.
He is thought to have survived an earlier attempt to oust him following Mr Kylyak’s request to the Russian government to intervene in the election.
Flynn was also accused in 2016 of not telling the judiciary about lobbying on behalf of the Turkish government.
Despite admitting to lying twice, Flynn later tried to withdraw his guilty plea, claiming he was founded by the FBI.
He claims he is an innocent man, a statement echoed by the White House.
“The president has pardoned General Flynn because he should never have been tried,” the statement said.
“In fact, the Department of Justice has firmly decided that the charges against General Flynn should be dropped. This full amnesty achieves that goal, ultimately ending the relentless, biased pursuit of the innocent.”
Other democratic lawmakers have condemned the apology. Jerry Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said: “This is an unforgivable, unprincipled and yet another stain on President Trump’s rapidly declining legacy.”
Representative Adam Schiff said: “It’s no surprise that Trump will leave as soon as he gets in – crooked in the end.”
A spokesman for the Flynn family said in a statement that they were “grateful to Mr. Trump for answering our prayers and the prayers of a nation. Innocence” by removing the heavy burden of injustice from the shoulders of our brother Michael.
Flynn means he’s unlikely to go to jail, but that doesn’t mean he’s not guilty.
According to the Justice Department’s website, the recipients were granted a pardon in recognition of their “confession of guilt.”