WASHINGTON — With less than a month remaining in office, President Donald Trump on Tuesday started issuing grants of clemency, including a full pardon to George Papadopoulos, the Chicagoan caught up in the Mueller Russia probe.
Trump granted full pardons on Tuesday to 15 individuals and commuted part or all of the sentences of another five people.
Trump had signaled that Papadopoulos may be in line for clemency.
Papadopoulos was sentenced to 14 days in prison on Sept. 7, 2018, after pleading guilty in 2017 for making a “materially false, fictitious and fraudulent statement” to investigators during the Mueller probe of Russian interference during the 2016 presidential election.
Papadopoulos was born in August 1987 at Swedish Covenant Hospital on the Northwest Side. He lived in Lincolnwood while attending Niles West, graduating in 2005.
He picked up a bachelor’s degree in political science from DePaul University in 2009.
After serving his sentence, Papadopoulos moved to California.
The White House said in a statement, “Papadopoulos was charged with a process-related crime, one count of making false statements, in connection with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Notably, Mueller stated in his report that he found no evidence of collusion in connection with Russia’s attempts to interfere in the election. Nonetheless, the Special Counsel’s team still charged Mr. Papadopoulos with this process-related crime.
“At the time that Mr. Papadopoulos allegedly made the false statements, he was not represented by counsel, and, after he was arrested, Mr. Papadopoulos gave additional information on his prior statements to the Special Counsel. Today’s pardon helps correct the wrong that Mueller’s team inflicted on so many people.
From a 2018 Sun-Times story:
Papadopoulos, a North Side resident, becomes the first person associated with the Trump campaign sentenced in Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference into the 2016 presidential election.
Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the FBI about his contacts during the campaign with Russian and Russian operatives. In London, a professor, Joseph Mifsud — identified as a Russian intermediary — told him Russians had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton and her emails.
Papadopoulos told the judge he “may have hindered” the probe — a point of dispute between the prosecutors and Papadopoulos defense team — and “I hope to have a second chance to redeem myself.”
FBI agents appeared at the Lincoln Square home Papadopoulos’ shared with his mother on Jan. 27, 2017, a week after the inauguration of President Donald Trump.
He voluntarily went with the agents — without a lawyer — to an FBI field office on Roosevelt Road in Chicago. The charges against him stem from that interview.