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Snowden on Obama Pardon: 'I'm Not Counting on It'

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Edward Snowden (Getty Images)

Monday, 05 Dec 2016 04:08 PM

Spy secrets leaker Edward Snowden is "not counting" on a pardon from President Barack Obama before he leaves office.

In an interview posted Monday by Yahoo News' Katie Couric, the former National Security Agency contractor, now living as a fugitive in Russia, said the time for a pardon "has never been more likely," however.

"Well, I'm not counting on it," Snowdon said of the pardon, arguing, nonetheless, his leaks of classified information about U.S. and British surveillance programs benefited the public.

"I would respectfully say to the president, 'I understand you have an incredibly difficult job,'" Snowden said about what he would say to Obama if he could plead his case with the president face-to-face.

"No one wants to be a whistleblower. This is something that's hard to do. It's hard enough to stand up to a bully in your life, to your boss in the office, much less the combined might of the National Security Agency, the FBI and, you know, the apparatus of government."

Snowden disclosed classified documents about top-secret surveillance programs of the United States and Britain to journalists in both countries in 2013.

The Obama administration then charged him with three felonies and has called on him to return to the United States to face trial.

In an interview last month with German publication Der Spiegel, Obama suggested it is unlikely he will issue a pardon.

"I can't pardon somebody who hasn't gone before a court and presented themselves, so that's not something that I would comment on at this point," he said.

The American Civil Liberties Union is among the organizations seeking a presidential pardon for Snowden.

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Spy secrets leaker Edward Snowden is "not counting" on a pardon from President Barack Obama before he leaves office, Snowden told Yahoo News' Katie Couric.
Edward Snowden, spy, Obama, pardon
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2016-08-05
Monday, 05 Dec 2016 04:08 PM
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