No one will ever accuse President Trump of being overly careful in his exercise of his pardon power.
So it makes sense that advocates of Edward Snowden, the man responsible for the most damaging classified leak in US history, are mounting a last-minute push to get the president who pardoned Sheriff Joe and Roger Stone to issue his most outrageous and indefensible pardon yet.
It’s a transpartisan alliance. Glenn Greenwald, Snowden’s journalistic partner and foremost advocate, has, of course, been banging the drum. Rose McGowan has urged Trump to be “punk as f - - -” and pardon Snowden in defiance of “DC Cult Leaders a k a politicians” who “hate the truth.”
Renegade Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is on board, as are libertarian Trump loyalists Rand Paul and Matt Gaetz.
As Trump’s presidency winds down and his clout on Capitol Hill diminishes, his sweeping power to grant clemency will be even more alluring to him, and he said over the summer that he’s considering a Snowden pardon.
If the pardon can be sold to Trump as a way to stick it to the Deep State on his way out the door, anything is possible. Why go to the trouble of firing CIA Director Gina Haspel or FBI Director Christopher Wray if he can signal his contempt for their ilk by bringing a bête noire of the US national-security apparatus in from the cold with a stroke of his pen?
Working for a National Security Agency contractor, Snowden stole massive amounts of classified material and began sharing it with journalists in 2013. When the Justice Department filed criminal charges, he fled to Russia, which kindly provided him asylum and then permanent residency.
Snowden is a self-styled whistleblower. He says he was motivated by his constitutional qualms about an NSA bulk-data-collection program and his disgust with official deceptions about the program.
None of this holds up. If Snowden wanted to be a genuine whistleblower, he could have pursued concerns about the NSA program through lawful avenues, instead of fleeing the country and purloining so many documents that authorities still can’t be sure how much he stole.
…The Snowden disclosures were much more wide-ranging than the NSA program, in fact so wide-ranging that it’s almost impossible to keep track.
It’s also naive to believe that Snowden was allowed to make a home in Vladimir Putin’s Russia without the government exploiting his trove of secrets.
You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:
You can also read my Washington Times piece on Snowdon via the below link: