President Trump has told confidants he plans to pardon his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts, two sources with direct knowledge of the discussions tell Axios.

Behind the scenes: Sources with direct knowledge of the discussions said Flynn will be part of a series of pardons that Trump issues between now and when he leaves office…

The bottom line: Trump’s pardon of Flynn would take the matter out of the hands of the courts and of a Biden-controlled Justice Department.

What to watch: In his final weeks in office, Trump is approaching the time when past presidents have granted pardons, and he has the potential to expunge his friends and supporters of all federal criminal convictions on his way out the door.