Whistleblower, Edward Snowden may be able to return from a 7-year exile in Russia to the United States after President Trump indicated a potential presidential pardon on Saturday, at a news conference at his Bedminster Golf Club.
President Donald Trump said he is considering a pardon for Edward Snowden, the former U.S. National Security Agency contractor - now living in Russia - whose spectacular leaks shook the U.S. intelligence community in 2013 https://t.co/M6QcxSpHfo pic.twitter.com/plU9ASSddd— Reuters (@Reuters) August 17, 2020
“I am going to take a very good look at it," the president appears to weigh options on granting the former National Security Agency contractor Snowden, who he once called a traitor for being the mastermind to the leakage of the government surveillance classified documents, a pardon.
ObamaCare is a disaster and Snowden is a spy who should be executed-but if it and he could reveal Obama's records,I might become a major fan— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 30, 2013
The president, before heading office in 2016 claimed Snowden as a spy and deserves execution for his action, but his comments on Saturday showed that he is willing to pull his aides to see if he should give the ultimate decision to free the anti-surveillance whistleblower charged with violating the Espionage Act of 1917 and faced a long prison sentence on the theft of government property. In his interview with the New York Post, the republican President who is vying for a second term said that he heard from his staff that Snowden is not being fairly treated. The legal team of Snowden tried to negotiate a prison-free return to the US, according to Cointelegraph. Snowden, for his supporters, is a hero for exposing the FISA court’s secret approval of dragnet collection of domestic call records.
The incumbent president, under Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, has the power to grant pardons for offenses against the United States. If Trump decides to invoke this authority months before the general elections, Edward Snowden will be the 26th person Trump pardoned since January 2017 - a pardon in which as Reuters published, Trump's allies and political ties often benefited from.