|FROM ||Ruben Safir
|SUBJECT ||Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Edward Snowden
Republican lawmakers push Trump to pardon Edward Snowden
December 25, 2020 | 12:20pm | Updated December 25, 2020 | 12:21pm
Edward Snowden Jörg Carstensen/DPA/AFP via Getty Images
WASHINGTON — Republicans in Congress are pushing President Trump to
grant clemency to whistleblower Edward Snowden amid a blitz of pardons
during his final weeks in the White House, according to a new report.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), as well as recently
pardoned Trump associate Roger Stone, have all asked the president in
recent days to drop the criminal charges against the former National
Security Agency contractor, Politico reported Thursday.
The president’s allies reportedly see Trump as increasingly amenable to
the controversial idea and have pitched Snowden as someone who was
unfairly persecuted after exposing the NSA’s massive domestic
Paul told the publication that Snowden, who has been living in exile in
Russia, also exposed James Clapper, the former director of national
intelligence, for lying to Congress about warrantless spying on US citizens.
“He revealed that James Clapper, the highest-ranking, most powerful spy
in the world, was spying on Americans and lied to us about it,” Paul
said in an interview.
“So I think what Snowden did was a service to the American people and he
ought to be pardoned,” he added.
In an Oval Office interview with The Post in August, the commander in
chief said he was open to allowing the leaker to return from Russia
without going to prison.
“There are a lot of people that think that he is not being treated
fairly. I mean, I hear that,” Trump said.
Former Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has also
publicly called on Trump to pardon Snowden and WikiLeaks founder Julian
Assange, saying they should be rewarded for exposing “the deception and
criminality of those in the deep state.”
But many Republicans view Snowden as a traitor who broke the law and did
untold damage to the nation’s spying abilities.
Attorney General William Barr in August told the Associated Press he was
“vehemently opposed” to pardoning the NSA leaker but Barr stepped down
from his role as the chief of the justice department last week.
Sen. Rand Paul
Sen. Rand Paul
Greg Nash/Pool/Getty Images
Trump went on a pre-Christmas forgiveness blitz this week, pardoning his
former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, his longtime associate Roger
Stone, and Charles Kushner, the father of his son-in-law Jared Kushner,
So many immigrant groups have swept through our town
that Brooklyn, like Atlantis, reaches mythological
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