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Trump plans to pardon former aide Michael Flynn

In this file photo taken on December 18, 2018 former National Security Advisor General Michael Flynn leaves after the delay in his sentencing hearing at US District Court in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

US President Donald Trump plans to pardon his former national security advisor Michael Flynn who had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI over his Russian contacts.

Flynn, a key controversial figure in the probe into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election, pleaded guilty to making false statements in a charge brought by then-Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Flynn left his White House position after just 24 days in office when he was found to have misled Vice President Mike Pence about his discussions with Russia's then-ambassador to the US, States Sergei Kislyak. Trump announced in 2017 that he fired Flynn because he had lied to Pence and the FBI.

Pence, however, stated during a trip to Indiana in May that Flynn's actions may have been unintentional.

Since 2017, Flynn has sought to withdraw the plea, asserting prosecutors violated his rights and duped him into a plea agreement.

Now, a source familiar with the situation said on Tuesday that Trump could still change his mind on the planned pardon, which was first reported by Axios.

The pardon is among a number of pardons under consideration by the Republican president, the source said. It would also be the highest-profile pardon issued by Trump since he took office.

In March, Trump said he was strongly considering a full pardon for Flynn, adding the FBI and Justice Department had "destroyed" Flynn's life and that of his family.

This comes as the Trump administration finally announced preparations for Joe Biden’s transition into the White House following his victory in the November 3 election despite Trump’s refusal to concede defeat.

Trump had filed several lawsuits in battleground states to overturn the election results but to no avail.

On Monday, the General Services Administration finally informed Biden to begin transition into the White House.

A day after, Biden said the United States is "ready to lead the world, not retreat from it,” announcing some of his cabinet picks.

“It’s a team that reflects that America is back. Ready to lead the world, not retreat from it,” Biden said on stage while formally introducing the appointees at Wilmington’s Queen Theater in his home state of Delaware.

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