Their names were included in a wave of pre-Christmas pardons announced by the White House. Trump granted full pardons to 15 people, including two former Republican lawmakers, and commuted all or part of the sentences of five others.
Greek American Papadopoulos, 33, was an adviser to Trump’s 2016 campaign. He pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to FBI agents about the timing and significance of his contacts with people who claimed to have ties to top Russian officials.
“The defendant’s crime was serious and caused damage to the government’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election,” a sentencing recommendation memo from then-U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller had said.
He served 12 days of a 14-day sentence in federal prison, then was placed on a 12-month supervised release.
The White House said Papadopoulos was charged with “a process-related crime, one count of making false statements,” as part of the Mueller probe, which Trump had denounced as a witch hunt.
“Today’s pardon helps correct the wrong that Mueller’s team inflicted on so many people,” the White House said.
The pardons were part of a flurry of such actions expected by the outgoing Republican president before Democratic President-elect Joe Biden takes office on Jan. 20. Trump, who has refused to concede, has made unsubstantiated claims of widespread voting fraud and pursued a series of unsuccessful lawsuits to overturn the result.
Papadopoulos tweeted his thanks on twitter
Thank you, Mr. President!!! This means the world to me and my family!— George Papadopoulos (@GeorgePapa19) December 23, 2020
I lost friends, business associates and even family over the last years. Had my reputation tore up for a while with fake stories and nonsense. But there was one person who stood through it all with me until the end, my @simonamangiante. I love you! We both thank @realDonaldTrump!— George Papadopoulos (@GeorgePapa19) December 23, 2020