US President Donald Trump's list of final pardons has grown at the eleventh hour, with 50 more names reportedly added to the tally.
The list was expected to drop at some point before midnight, Washington time (6pm NZT).
Sources speaking to several US outlets today say Trump has a list of about 150 people he will grant clemency to - that's an increase from 100 in yesterday's predictions.
The New York Times' Maggie Haberman says the final number is 143.
CNN reports Trump has decided to pardon his former chief strategist Steve Bannon in a last-minute decision, with sources cautioning Trump's decision was not final until he signed the paperwork.
Bannon, who was booted from the White House in 2017, was charged last year with defrauding donors to a crowd-funding campaign to build a wall between the US and Mexico. The wire fraud and money laundering charges each carry a maximum of 20 years in prison.
He pleaded not guilty and was released on a US$5 million bond ahead of a May 2021 trial date. Trump has repeatedly distanced himself from the project, tweeting last year that it was "not my wall", but adding: "Totally unrelated, but I think Steve will be just fine."
After an intense lobbying effort, today's pardons are expected to be a mix of white-collar criminals and people whose cases have been championed by criminal justice activists.
Trump has also delivered his farewell address to the American people, highlighting his administration's achievements and promising his political movement will continue.
"As I prepare to hand power over to a new administration at noon on Wednesday, I want you to know that the movement we started is only just beginning. There's never been anything like it," Trump said in the speech, which was posted online this afternoon.
"The belief that a nation must serve its citizens will not dwindle, but instead only grow stronger by the day. As long as the American people hold in their hearts deep and devoted love of country, then there is nothing that this nation cannot achieve.
"Our communities will flourish, our people will be prosperous, our traditions will be cherished, our faith will be strong, and our future will be brighter than ever before.
"I go from this majestic place with a loyal and joyful heart, an optimistic spirit, and a supreme confidence that for our country, and for our children, the best is yet to come. Thank you and farewell, God bless you, God bless the United States of America."
Among the achievements Trump mentioned, he expressed particular pride in the fact that he did not start any new wars.
Curiously, the speech included no mention whatsoever of President-elect Joe Biden. The closest Trump came was to refer to the "new administration".
Joe Exotic pardoned?
The White House is expected to announce as many as 150 pardons and commutations before the end of the day - and one well known prisoner is hoping his name is on the list.
The lawyers for the man known as "Joe Exotic" have a limo standing by for his release from prison, as they are "extremely confident" about their client getting the pardon from Trump today.
Joseph Maldonado-Passage was convicted and sentenced to 22 years in prison for a murder-for-hire plot and for violating wildlife laws. He became the star of Netflix documentary 'Tiger King' last year.
"We've got hair, makeup, wardrobes. Trust me, anything you can think of we have it, including a doctor and also a mental health expert," his lawyer told KOCO News.
He also said there is a limo set up to pick Maldonado-Passage up once he is released.
Among others expected to be released, Death Row Records founder Michael "Harry O" Harris was informed on Tuesday that his prison sentence for attempted murder and cocaine trafficking had been commuted, according to the New York Post.
Rapper Snoop Dogg had reportedly been lobbying the White House on behalf of Harris, despite being a fierce critic of the President and even making a video in which he pretended to shoot a clown lookalike.
More controversial possible pardons that have been the subject of speculation for months would be for the likes of Edward Snowden and Julian Assange.
There are also expected to be a few surprises with rapper Lil Wayne (real name Dwayne Carter) tipped to make the cut.
Lil Wayne, who supported Trump for re-election, pleaded guilty last year to illegally possessing a gold-plated handgun while travelling to Florida in a private jet in 2019, which was not allowed due to a prior felony conviction. His bag also contained cocaine, ecstasy and oxycodone.
Biden honours 400,000 Americans lost to Covid-19
While Trump released his farewell statement this afternoon, Biden held a sombre ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial's reflecting pool in Washington DC this evening, to honour the 400,000 Americans who have died from Covid-19.
Speaking at the memorial, he said the only way America could move forward is by remembering those who have been lost in the pandemic.
"We must remember. It's hard sometimes to remember. But that's how we heal," he said.
"It's important to do that as nation. That's why we're here today. Between sun down and dusk, let us shine the lights in the darkness along the sacred Pool of Reflection and remember all whom we lost."
There was a moment's silence and a rendition of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah before the short ceremony came to an end.
Incoming Vice President Kamala Harris also spoke at the memorial.
"We pay tribute to the lives we have lost. A grandmother or grandfather who was our whole world, a parent, partner, sibling or friend who we still cannot accept is no longer here," she said.
"For many months, we have grieved by ourselves. Tonight, we grieve and begin healing together.
"Though we may be physically separated, we, the American people, are united in spirit.
"My abiding hope, my abiding prayer is that we emerge from this ordeal with a new wisdom, to cherish simple moments, to imagine new possibilities and to open our hearts just a little bit more to one another."