President Donald Trump pardoned former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos on Tuesday, along with over a dozen other people, including several former congressmen who have long been Republican allies of the president.
The White House said in a statement that Trump was granting full pardons to 15 people and commuting parts or all of the sentences of five others. Among those granted clemency were Republican former Reps. Duncan Hunter of California and Chris Collins of New York and four ex-Blackwater contractors convicted in the killings of Iraqi civilians.
Hunter was sentenced to 11 months in prison in March for misusing campaign funds. He pleaded guilty in December 2019 to a corruption charge after prosecutors said he and his wife "converted and stole" more than a quarter-million dollars in campaign funds for their own use over several years.
Collins, who was the first sitting member of Congress to endorse Trump for president, pleaded guilty in October 2019 to charges related to insider trading. He was sentenced in January to 26 months in federal prison.
Papadopoulos is best known for playing a key role in the lengthy investigation into Russian election interference. Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser on Trump's 2016 campaign, told an Australian diplomat while they were having drinks at a London wine bar that he'd heard that Russia had thousands of emails that would embarrass Trump's rival, Hillary Clinton.
"I am ecstatic to be pardoned," Papadopoulos said in a statement sent via the publisher of his book. He then pointed to an ongoing investigation by John Durham into the handling of the Russia investigation. "I look forward to the contents of the Durham probe becoming public which should only reinforce why this decision by the President was sound and with a strong basis,” Papadopoulos said.
He was sentenced to 14 days in a federal lockup and one year of supervised release in September 2018 for lying to investigators. After he was released from jail, he wrote a book, "Deep State Target: How I Got Caught in the Crosshairs of the Plot to Bring Down President Trump," and ran a failed campaign for Congress.
Trump has also discussed pardoning members of his family and other associates, including Rudy Giuliani, multiple sources familiar with the matter said this month. None of those names were on Tuesday's roster.
The full list of pardons and commutations:
- Alfonso Costa — Costa, a dentist from Pittsburgh, pleaded guilty to one count of health care fraud related to false billing. He served two years of probation and paid nearly $300,000 in fines and restitution. Trump granted him a full pardon.
- Alfred Lee Crum — Crum pleaded guilty in 1952, at age 19, to helping his wife's uncle illegally distill moonshine in Oklahoma. He served three years of probation and paid a $250 fine. Trump granted him a full pardon.
- Crystal Munoz — Munoz, working in a marijuana smuggling ring, was convicted of conspiracy to distribute marijuana. Trump previously commuted Munoz's sentence of incarceration after she had served 12 years in prison. He commuted the rest of her supervised release Tuesday.
- Tynice Nichole Hall — Hall was sentenced to 18 years for allowing her apartment to be used to distribute drugs. Trump previously commuted her term after she had served nearly 14 years of the 18-year sentence. He commuted the rest of her supervised release Tuesday.
- Judith Negron — Negron was sentenced to 35 years for her role as a minority owner of a health care company engaged in a scheme to defraud the government. Trump previously commuted her sentence after she had served eight years of her sentence. He commuted the rest of her supervised release Tuesday.
- Steve Stockman — Stockman, a former GOP House member from Texas, was convicted in 2018 of misuse of charitable funds. Stockman has served more than two years of his 10-year sentence. Trump commuted his sentence Tuesday.
- Duncan Hunter — Hunter, a former GOP House member from California, pleaded guilty to one count of misusing campaign funds and was sentenced to 11 months in prison, which had been scheduled to begin in January. Trump granted him a full pardon.
- Chris Collins — Collins, a former GOP House member from New York, pleaded guilty in 2019 to conspiring to commit securities fraud and making false statements to the FBI. He was sentenced to 26 months in prison. Trump granted him a full pardon.
- Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean — Ramos and Compean, former Border Patrol agents, were convicted of shooting and killing an undocumented immigrant drug smuggler at the southern border in 2006. They were sentenced to 11 and 12 years in prison, respectively. President George W. Bush previously commuted their sentences. Trump granted them full pardons.
- George Papadopoulos — Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign aide, was charged with lying to investigators in connection with special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. Trump granted him a full pardon.
- Alex van der Zwaan — Van der Zwaan, a London-based lawyer who was the first person sentenced in the Russia investigation, was charged with lying to investigators. Trump granted him a full pardon.
- Nicholas Slatten, Paul Slough, Evan Liberty and Dustin Heard — Slatten, Slough, Liberty and Heard are former Blackwater employees. Slatten was sentenced to life imprisonment after being convicted of murder in connection with the 2007 shooting of unarmed civilians at Nisur Square in Iraq. Slough, Liberty and Heard were convicted of manslaughter and weapons charges carrying lesser sentences. Trump granted them full pardons.
- Weldon Angelos — Angelos was sentenced in 2002 to 55 years in prison for selling marijuana and carrying a handgun in the course of dealing. Angelos was released by judicial order after having served 13 years in prison. Trump granted him a full pardon.
- Philip Lyman — Lyman was arrested and sentenced to 10 days in prison and issued a $96,000 fine for protesting the Bureau of Land Management's closure of Recapture Canyon to ATV riders. Trump granted him a full pardon.
- Otis Gordon — Gordon was convicted of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. Trump granted him a full pardon.
- Philip Esformes — Esformes was convicted of prosecutorial misconduct related to violating attorney-client privilege. Trump commuted his sentence.