Libertarian candidate Johnson would consider pardons for Manning, Snowden

Former New Mexico governor and Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson has expressed a willingness to weigh pardons for those facing charges related to or convicted of cyber crimes.

Citing an undue rationale for charges against or imprisonment for their crimes, a spokesman for the Johnson campaign outlined the candidates views regarding potential pardons:

“Having actually served as a governor and administered the power to grant pardons and clemency, Gary Johnson is very conscious and respectful of the need for processes for using that authority.” 

“However, he has made it clear on numerous occasions that he would ‘look seriously at’ pardoning Edward Snowden, based on public information that Snowden’s actions did not cause actual harm to any U.S. intelligence personnel.  Likewise, he has said he would look favorably on pardoning Ross Ulbricht, consistent with his broader and long-standing commitment to pardon nonviolent drug offenders, whistleblowers, and others imprisoned under unjust and ill-advised laws,” said Joe Hunter, communication director for the Johnson campaign to Vocativ.

Among those Vocativ specifically inquired:   Bradley/Chelsea Manning, Ross Ulbricht, Jeremy Hammond and Edward Snowden.

Manning is a former Army intelligence analyst who pleaded guilty to violations of the Espionage Act in 2013 and is serving a 35-year prison sentence; Ulbricht is serving a life sentence for his role in the creation of darknet marketplace Silk Road; Hammond is serving 10 years for his role in penetrating intelligence firm Stratfor and releasing documents to whistleblowing platform Wikileaks; and Edward Snowden, who is hiding in Russia after leaking details of American global surveillance programs.