ABC 7 I-Team Exclusive
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago-native George Papadopoulos is believed to be on President Trump's short list of potential pardons. Papadopoulos was the first Trump adviser to be arrested as part of the Russian meddling investigation and pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents. Today he spoke exclusively with Investigative Reporter Chuck Goudie about his case.
"Let's remember exactly what my case was about," Papadopoulos said. "It was a lying charge which, in, in federal terms, it's a very minor case which historically and statistically most people will just get probation for but obviously because of the heightened sense, and the politics surrounding my situation, the presidency, the Robert Mueller investigation, I did end up serving 11 days in in Wisconsin and in a camp."
He said goodbye to his wife Simona two years ago and even though his time behind bars was less than two weeks, the felony record is a lifetime. That is unless President Trump pardons the ex-foreign policy adviser to his 2016 campaign.
"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," Papadopolous told the I-Team. "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 is pretty well positioned for a pardon and he was convicted of a really a relatively minor charge compared to what other charges have been brought through the last four years," said Gil Soffer, ABC7 Legal Analyst / Katten Law.
Other short list prospects include Chicago banker Stephen Calk, a 2016 economic adviser to the campaign who is now awaiting federal trial on bribery charges, and Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash who is under a bribery indictment in Chicago and assisted by a pair of Washington D.C. attorneys with close ties to President Trump.
"For me, I'm most interested right now in clearing my name for the American people to see exactly what happened to myself and to assure that they get the full picture. So that's what I'm hoping for, of course a pardon would mean a lot to my family and I, but right now we're taking one step at a time," Papadopoulos told the I-Team.
Papadopoulos said that his pardon is important to his wife Simona, who led a very public campaign on his behalf when he was arrested, what he now calls "a bizarre chapter in American history."
Wednesday on Twitter, Simona Papadopoulos wrote "All I want for Christmas is justice. Starting from a much deserved PARDON for my husband."