Former Trump adviser George Papadopoulos says he would be ‘honored’ to receive a pardon amid speculation the President will grant more in his final weeks in office
- Ex-foreign adviser George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI
- Made false statements about the timing and the possible significance of his contacts in 2016 relating to U.S.–Russia relations and Trump’s campaign
- Told Abc7 Chicago that he hopes for a pardon but the most important thing for him currently is clearing his name so the US people can get ‘the full picture’
- Comes week after Trump pardoned ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn
Former Trump adviser George Papadopoulos says he would be ‘honored’ to receive a pardon from the President, as speculation grows that he will grant more in his final weeks in office.
Republican Papadopoulos, from Chicago, was arrested in connection with the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
The former foreign policy adviser, who pleaded guilty to making false statement to FBI agents and served 12 days in federal prison in 2018, is believed to be on the President’s list of potential pardons.
The offence will stay on his record for life unless Trump pardons him for his actions.
As more presidential pardons are expected during Trump’s last few weeks in office, his former adviser George Papadopoulos (pictured) says he would be ‘honored’ to receive one
Papadopoulos, was arrested in connection with the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Pictured: Papadopoulos (third from left) at a National Security meeting in 2016 with President Trump
Padadopoulos’s words come a week after Trump pardoned his former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
The pardon, one of 29 Trump has granted, sparked speculation that others could be next as the President is expected to look at the growing list of requests in his final weeks in office.
Flynn was convicted in cases stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, the same as Papadopoulos and other Trump adviser Rick Gates.
Papadopoulos told Abc7 Chicago: ‘The President obviously is very unorthodox in executing his pardon power or his commutation power, which sometimes circumvents going through the normal procedures as other presidents might have wanted pardon applications to go through.
‘Hopefully, once the facts are all out there if they support what I believe is a logical conclusion of a pardon. I would be honored to accept one.’
Papadopoulos referred to his case as a ‘lying charge’ and said in most cases it would have been treated as a minor case which ‘most will just get probation for’.
Padadopoulos’s words come a week after Trump pardoned his former national security adviser Michael Flynn
The former Trump adviser went to federal prison for 12 days in Wisconsin in 2018 and his wife Simona (pictured together) campaigned on his behalf
He believes due to the scale of the investigation he ended up serving less than two weeks at a prison in Wisconsin.
While the ex-adviser hopes for a pardon, he said what he is most interested in is clearing his name so the US can get ‘the full picture’.
In particular, he said a pardon would mean a lot to his wife Simona, who campaigned for him after his arrest.
She took to Twitter last week, posting: ‘All I want for Christmas is justice. Starting from a much deserved pardon for my husband.’
Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to making false statements to FBI agents about the timing and the possible significance of his contacts in 2016 relating to U.S.–Russia relations and Trump’s campaign.
He served twelve days in federal prison, then was placed on a 12-month supervised release.
Trump with Michael Flynn in 2016 – he pardoned his longtime adviser on Wednesday last week
As well as Padadopoulos (right), former Trump campaign advisers Rick Gates (left) who like Flynn was convicted in cases stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, is seeking a pardon
Others seeking a pardon include former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and adviser Rick Gates.
Gates pleaded guilty to conspiracy against the United States and making false statements in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. On December 17, 2019, he was sentenced to 45 days’ jail and three years of probation.
Both Gates and Padapoulos have ties to Manafort, who is serving time after being convicted of conspiracy to defraud the United States and witness tampering. He is on home confinement due to the coronavirus.
Also in Trump’s circle are Steve Bannon, his former White House counselor who was indicted in August on charges of defrauding donors regarding a campaign to help fund Trump’s goal to build a wall along the border with Mexico, and Elliott Broidy, a top GOP fund-raiser, who pleaded guilty last month in a foreign lobbying case.
But attorneys and others who have been in touch with the White House told The New York Times they anticipate the president will use his power to pardon in cases that extend beyond those involving Mueller’s inquiry and the lengthy cast of aides and associates who have gotten in legal trouble since he first ran for the White House.
President Trump pardoned Michael Flynn, his former national security adviser, last week. Flynn is seen above with his lawyer Sidney Powell in September
Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort (left) and former White House Counselor Steve Bannon (right) are two people with close ties to Trump trying to get a pardon
Several groups are working with Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, with a goal of announcing as many as hundreds of commutations for offenders now in jail for crimes ranging from nonviolent drug convictions to mail fraud and money laundering.
‘Lists of people are being circulated,’ Brandon Sample, a Vermont lawyer who specializes in presidential pardons and has submitted several names of people to be considered told The Times.
Others seeking a pardon include Joseph Maldonado-Passage, the former Oklahoma zoo owner who is better known as Joe Exotic, who starred in the Netflix documentary ‘Tiger King.’
He is one year into a 22-year sentence for trying to hire a hit man to kill an animal-rights activist. His team has been trying to catch Trump’s attention through appearances on Fox News and a visit to the Trump International Hotel in Washington where they ran up a tab of about $10,000.
In April, Trump said he would ‘take a look at’ a pardon for the so-called Tiger King.
Joseph Maldonado-Passage, the former Oklahoma zoo owner who is better known as Joe Exotic, who starred in the Netflix documentary ‘Tiger King,’ is also seeking a pardon
Trump announced the pardon Wednesday
Flynn’s family issued this statement which he shared on Twitter
After he pardoned Flynn, Trump shared a tweet on Wednesday from Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz, one of his closest allies on Capitol Hill, who said the president should also consider a pardon for himself.
‘President Trump should pardon Flynn, the Thanksgiving turkey, and everyone from himself, to his admin, to Joe Exotic if he has to,’ Gaetz wrote.
Flynn’s family on Wednesday issued a statement expressing their profuse gratitude to President Trump for pardoning him.
There have been questions about whether Trump would pardon himself from any possible federal investigations into his business activities and taxes, which would not absolve him from any probes from New York state officials.
Legal scholars doubt the constitutionality of such a move and many think the Supreme Court would strike it down.
And President-elect Joe Biden told NBC’s Lester Holt he would not push his own Justice Department to go after Trump, with some Democrats calling for probes.