Republican congressman renews call to pardon Snowden, says Trump is 'listening' to people pushing for it
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida) is renewing a call for Edward Snowden to be pardoned and says President Donald Trump is paying attention to advocates pushing for the act.
“President Trump is listening to the many of us who are urging him to #PardonSnowden,” Gaetz tweeted on Sunday in response to reporter Glenn Greenwald’s own call for the pardon.
“It’s the right thing to do,” Gaetz added.
Snowden himself shared the Florida congressman’s tweet, as well as another calling for a pardon from Rep. Justin Amash (L-Michigan).
Greenwald, who reported on Snowden’s revelations about the NSA spying on American citizens without warrants or their knowledge, said a pardon would be “a huge victory against CIA/FBI/NSA abuses.”
For those who still can't comprehend why Trump twice said he was strongly considering a pardon of Snowden, it's because -- as he's explains -- he feels personally aggrieved by the precise abuses of power that Snowden risked his liberty to expose.https://t.co/swUgfxKIIzpic.twitter.com/mDPqT185V2— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) December 13, 2020
While the president took a hard stance on Snowden’s whistleblowing during his presidential campaign, he has changed his view in recent months, saying he is open to granting a pardon to the former CIA and NSA contractor.
Lawmakers like Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) have also thrown their support behind the effort to clear Snowden’s name.
James Clapper brazenly lied to Congress denying that the Deep State was spying on all Americans. @Snowden simply revealed Clapper’s lies and exposed unconstitutional spying. He deserves a pardon from @realDonaldTrump!— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 13, 2020
Snowden, who had to take refuge in Russia in 2013 to escape prosecution, has shared messages of support through Twitter, but said recently that if Trump granted “only one act of clemency” during his time in office, it should be a pardon of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is currently in a UK jail awaiting a judge’s ruling on whether he will be extradited to the US. He is facing an 18-count indictment for alleged espionage and conspiracy crimes.Also on rt.com 'You alone can SAVE HIS LIFE': NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden urges Trump to grant clemency to WikiLeaks' Julian Assange
Trump is viewed by many as Snowden’s only hope for a pardon in the near future as Joe Biden’s administration will likely take a much firmer stance once entering the White House in January. Former President Barack Obama, under whom Biden served, refused requests to pardon Snowden before he left office.
Former Obama officials and future Biden advisors such as Susan Rice have also taken a hardline stance on Snowden.
I. Just. Can’t. Congratulations GOP. This is who you are now. https://t.co/CAE98A7qjV— Susan Rice (@AmbassadorRice) August 16, 2020
Snowden also revealed last year that Biden was allegedly threatening countries with “consequences” if they granted him asylum.
“Every time one of these governments got close to opening their doors, the phone would ring in their foreign ministries,” he told MSNBC. “And on the other end of the line would be a very senior American official. It was one of two people: then-Secretary of State John Kerry or then-Vice President Joe Biden.”
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