President Donald Trump pardoned George Papadopoulos, a former campaigner who pleaded guilty as part of an investigation into “Russian interference” in the 2016 US presidential election, fully pardoned.
Trump also pardoned Alex van der Zwan, the 36-year-old Dutch son-in-law of Russian billionaire Hermann Khan.
Van der Zwan was sentenced to 30 days in prison and a $ 20,000 fine for perjury to Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller over contacts with an official at Trump’s headquarters in 2016.
Papadopoulos, 33, was an advisor to Trump’s headquarters in 2016. In 2017, he pleaded guilty to perjury to FBI agents about the timing and significance of his contacts with people who claimed to have connections with senior Russian officials.
“The defendant’s crime was serious and damaged the government’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election,” said Special Attorney Robert Mueller’s sentencing advisory note.
He served 12 days of a 14-day federal prison sentence, after which he was released and placed under 12-month supervision.
The White House said Papadopoulos was charged with “procedural offense, perjury from one point,” as part of the Mueller investigation, which Trump denounced as a witch hunt.
“Today’s pardon corrects a mistake made by the Mueller team against many people,” the White House said.
In November, Trump pardoned his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who twice pleaded guilty to perjury to the FBI in a “Russian” investigation. Democrats and other critics denounced Flynn’s pardon.
Democrat chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, said Trump is giving pardons to reward his friends and political allies and “protect those who lie to cover him up.”
“Trump values loyalty above everything else – the rule of law, our democracy and, of course, justice,” Schiff said.