President Donald Trump has called NSA leaker Edward Snowden a “traitor” and a “spy who should be executed.”
If news coming from U.S. intelligence turns out to be correct, Snowden might have to face the music.
According to NBC news, a senior U.S. official as well as a second intelligence community source in the loop on Russian deliberations both confirm the Russians are considering handing over Snowden, who currently has a residency permit to stay in Russia until 2020, as a way to “curry favor” with President Trump.
Snowden’s ACLU lawyer, Ben Wizner, isn’t aware of any immediate plans to return Snowden to the U.S., telling NBC News, “Team Snowden has received no such signals and has no new reason for concern.”
For his part, Snowden thinks the news proves at least one thing:
From NBC News:
The White House had no comment, but the Justice Department told NBC News it would welcome the return of Snowden, who currently faces federal charges that carry a minimum of 30 years in prison. Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said talk about returning Snowden is “nonsense.”
Snowden is a controversial figure in the United States with both supporters and detractors, depending on where one lands on the issue of whether the NSA should spy on American citizens and whether what Snowden did was patriotism or treachery. However, President Trump has minced no words about what would happen if he were to have his way, saying during the campaign in July, “I think he’s a total traitor and I would deal with him harshly. And if I were president, Putin would give him over.”
Trump has been against Snowden long before he officially got into politics:
CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s words last February, well before he accepted his current post, also doesn’t bode well for Snowden: “I think the proper outcome would be that he would be given a death sentence.”
In December, Snowden addressed the possibility in a Twitter streamed interview: “A lot of people have asked me: Is there going to be some kind of deal where Trump says, ‘Hey look, give this guy to me as some kind of present’? Will I be sent back to the U.S., where I’ll be facing a show trial? Is this going to happen? I don’t know. Could it happen? Sure. Am I worried about it? Not really, because here’s the thing: I am very comfortable with the decisions that I’ve made. I know I did the right thing.”
Interestingly, not everyone is buying the Snowden logic when it comes to a potential Russian handover:
Also this is a bullshit argument. If you think Russia/FSB are going to be loyal to anyone, you're naive. https://t.co/94t0QEHDY0
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) February 10, 2017
That's far from irrefutable evidence. https://t.co/rp0EnZw0Wj
— Ankit Panda (@nktpnd) February 10, 2017
Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of BizPac Review.
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