US President Donald Trump on Saturday said he is considering a pardon for Edward Snowden, the former U.S. National Security Agency contractor, who now lives in Russia, whose spectacular leaks shook the U.S. intelligence community in 2013.
President Trump’s said, “there are a lot of people that think that he is not being treated fairly.”
“I’m going to start looking at it,” Trump said about a possible pardon
U.S. authorities for years have wanted Snowden returned to the United States to face a criminal trial on espionage charges brought in 2013.
Snowden fled the United States and was given asylum in Russia after he leaked a trove of secret files in 2013 to news organizations that revealed vast domestic and international surveillance operations carried out by the NSA.
Many civil libertarians have praised Snowden for revealing the extraordinary scope of America’s digital espionage operations including domestic spying programs that senior U.S. officials had publicly insisted did not exist.
But such a move would horrify many in the U.S. intelligence community, some of whose most important secrets were exposed.