Wife of Indicted Trump Aide George Papadopoulos Asks for Presidential Pardon: 'He Did an Excellent Job'

Simona Papadopoulos, wife to former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos, made a public appeal to President Donald Trump and asked him to pardon her husband for lying to the FBI last year.

The comments came during a Monday-evening interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson. Simona Papadopoulos attempted to remind the president, a frequent Fox viewer, that her husband was a loyal staffer who committed himself to helping Trump win his 2016 bid for the White House.

She claimed her husband's conversation with a Russian professor—during which he expressed interest in "dirt" on Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton—was tantamount to gossip and nothing more.

"He never colluded with the Russians. He didn't do anything with Russia," she said. "...Honestly, I know how...dedicated and committed he was on the Trump campaign," Simona Papadopoulos said. "I know he did an excellent job. Because of this incident, his freedom is challenged."

"I trust and hope and ask the president to pardon him," she continued.

George Papadopoulos was among the first few people indicted in special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into election meddling. On October 5, the 30-year-old pleaded guilty to making false statements to FBI agents over communications he had with the Russian government. He also engaged in suspicious behavior following his FBI interview, including deactivating messaging accounts that contained correspondence with Russian nationals.

Trump attempted to downplay the role of Papadopoulos, who served as a foreign policy adviser to the campaign.

"Few people knew the young, low level volunteer named George, who has already proven to be a liar," Trump tweeted on October 31, 2017. In a previous interview with The Washington Post, however, Trump referred to the policy wonk as an "excellent guy."

Trump remarked early Monday that he had the supreme power to issue pardons in a tweet, noting that he could potentially pardon himself if he is ever indicted in Mueller's probe. He has repeatedly referred to the investigation as a "witch hunt" and maintained that there was no collusion with foreign governments to swing the election.

"As has been stated by numerous legal scholars, I have the absolute right to PARDON myself, but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong?" he tweeted. "In the meantime, the never ending Witch Hunt, led by 13 very Angry and Conflicted Democrats (& others) continues into the mid-terms!"

The claim sparked rumors that he may be open to pardoning people indicted in the investigation, a specter that roiled many of his critics, but, apparently, gave hope to Simona Papadopoulos.

So far, Mueller's investigation has netted a total of 17 indictments, with four against former Trump campaign associations Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Richard Gates and Papadopoulos.

Mueller has indicated that he is ready for Papadopoulos, who agreed to cooperate with investigators, to be sentenced. A status report will be presented to the court on June 22.

President Donald Trump speaks to the press outside the Oval Office of the White House on June 1 in Washington, D.C. The wife of one of his former aides asked on June 4 for a pardon after pleading guilty to lying to FBI officials about contact with the Russian government. Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images
Wife of Indicted Trump Aide George Papadopoulos Asks for Presidential Pardon: 'He Did an Excellent Job' | U.S.