Rand Paul Suggests Controversial Pardon Idea

Senator wants Trump to let Edward Snowden go free
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 18, 2020 2:15 PM CST
Rand Paul: Trump Should Pardon Snowden
A file photo of former National Security Agency systems analyst Edward Snowden.   (AP Photo, File)

As President Trump considers presidential pardons before his term expires, Sen. Rand Paul is suggesting a controversial one in the pages of the Federalist. The Kentucky senator says the president should pardon Edward Snowden, who is now living in exile in Russia. In Paul's view, the former National Security Agency contractor has been unjustly vilified by the Obama administration. Snowden, he writes, exposed "unconstitutional spying" on Americans that resulted from abuses of the Patriot Act. And he did so only "after watching Obama Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lie about it under oath," writes Paul.

"Contrary to the media narrative, Snowden was attempting to expose this type of anti-American behavior from the Deep State, not damage our security," argues the libertarian senator. He accuses Barack Obama of unfairly labeling Snowden a traitor and says more of the same can be expected in the Biden administration. Snowden is a "true whistleblower" worthy of a pardon, writes Paul. "And this president, who distinguished himself as an opponent of the Deep State on issues of war and spying on Americans, should be the one to do it." Read the full column. (Snowden is about to become a dad.)

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