Attorneys for Edward Snowden revealed in an interview with New York Magazine published Sunday they intend to push the White House for clemency for the former National Security Administration (NSA) whistleblower.
“We’re going to make a very strong case between now and the end of this administration that this is one of those rare cases for which the pardon power exists. It’s not for when somebody didn’t break the law. It’s for when they did and there are extraordinary reasons for not enforcing the law against the person.” Ben Wizner, attorney for Snowden, told New York Magazine.
Snowden, a former contract analyst with Boze Allen Hamilton, revealed the existence of the NSA’s global surveillance program and fled to China before being granted asylum in Russia.
Snowden has remained in Russia since June 2013.
In 2014, then-Attorney General Eric Holder ruled out the possibility of clemency, but did say a plea deal was possible should Snowden be willing to plead guilty and “engage with his lawyers.”
In May 2016, after departing the Justice Department, Holder told former Obama adviser, David Axelrod, Snowden had “performed a public service.”
Asked if his attorney’s efforts to secure a pardon are likely to bear fruit, Snowden responded, “There is an element of absurdity to it. More and more, we see the criticisms leveled toward this effort are really more about indignation than they are about concern for real harm.”
[The Guardian] [Politico]