White House, Lawmakers Say: No Clemency for Snowden
The White House and the leaders of the congressional intelligence committees are rejecting former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden’s plea for clemency.
“Mr. Snowden violated U.S. law,” White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer said Sunday about the former systems-analyst-turned-fugitive who has temporary asylum in Russia.
“He should return to the U.S. and face justice,” Pfeiffer said when pressed about whether clemency was being discussed.
Snowden made the plea in a letter given to a German politician and released Friday. In his one-page typed letter, he asks for clemency for charges over allegedly leaking classified information about the NSA to the news media. “”Speaking the truth is not a crime,” Snowden wrote.
Snowden’s revelations, among them allegations that the U.S. has eavesdropped on allies including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have led to calls by allies to cease such spying and moves by Congress to overhaul U.S. surveillance laws and curb the agency’s powers.
Bu the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee said if Snowden had been a true whistle-blower, he could have reported his concerns to her committee privately.
“That didn’t happen, and now he’s done this enormous disservice to our country,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. “I think the answer is no clemency.”