US President Donald Trump is planning to pardon former national security advisor Michael Flynn, an Axios report said on Tuesday, citing sources familiar with the matter.
The move is going to be part of a series of pardons that will take place from now on, before the next US president takes office in January.
Retired Army Gen. Flynn, now 61, was forced to resign and accused of making false statements about a conversation he had had with the Russian ambassador to the US Sergey Kuslayk back in 2016. His case is part of broader US state investigations into the alleged conspiracy between US President Trump and Russian officials, more known in the media as "Russiagate", which prompted a two-year probe into the allegations. However, the final report of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller stated there was no evidence that collusion between Trump and Russia took place during the 2016 presidential campaign.
President Trump once called Flynn a "hero" for fighting the charges against him, saying that former President Barack Obama and his deputy Joe Biden should go to jail for years for their engagement in his case.
Flynn's case also drew attention to the practice of "unmasking", after the Justice Department declassified a list of Obama-era officials who sought intelligence on Flynn's conversations specifically during the period between Trump's 8 November 2016 election and his swearing-in on 20 January 2017. The list of officials also included Joe Biden, the now projected president-elect.
While he pleaded guilty to lying to investigators in December 2017, Flynn withdrew his plea in mid-January due to what he said was the government's "bad faith, vindictiveness, and breach of the plea agreement".