Campaign Presses Ahead for Trump To Pardon Assange and Snowden
Dec. 14, 2020 (EIRNS)—U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has again called for a Presidential pardon for whistleblower Edward Snowden, and said yesterday that President Donald Trump is paying attention to advocates pushing for Snowden’s pardon, RT reported. Gaetz tweeted to Glenn Greenwald, who issued his own call for pardoning Snowden: “President Trump is listening to the many of us who are urging him to #Pardon Snowden. It is the right thing to do.” While President Trump attacked Snowden as far back as 2014, the President has changed his view in recent months, and said he is open to granting him a pardon. Snowden, a former CIA and NSA contractor, ultimately had to seek asylum in Russia—after Obama’s State Department revoked his passport when his plane stopped in Moscow—by the same corrupt intelligence forces that ran the fictitious “Russiagate” hoax against Trump.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-TN) and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) have also urged President Trump to pardon Snowden.
Snowden tweeted on Dec. 3, “Mr. President, if you grant only one act of clemency during your time in office, please: free Julian Assange. You alone can save his life. @realDonaldTrump”
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is imprisoned in the U.K.’s Belmarsh prison while fighting extradition to the U.S. to face an 18-count indictment for alleged espionage and conspiracy crimes. Assange’s life is in danger: In ill health, the prison is awash in COVID infections, and ill and infected inmates are not separated from the general population, reports Assange’s partner Stella Moris.
Former President Barack Obama, under whom Biden served, refused requests to pardon Snowden before he left office. Snowden revealed last year that Biden was allegedly threatening countries with “consequences” if they granted him asylum. While trapped in Moscow airport for 40 days, rather than take the easy way out and seek asylum from Russia, he tried to seek asylum from countries allied with the U.S., he told MSNBC’s “11th Hour” broadcast. “Every time one of these governments got close to opening their doors, the phone would ring in their foreign ministries,” Snowden said. “And on the other end of the line would be a ‘very senior American official.’ It was one of two people: then-Secretary of State John Kerry, or then-Vice President Joe Biden.”