With President Donald Trump issuing dozens of pardons in the past days, allies of Edward Snowden are ramping up their efforts to get the national security leaker's name on that list, Politico reports.
Trump doesn't use the typical process for granting pardons, so Snowden's allies in Congress are taking the direct approach: appealing straight to the president himself.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Sen. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., both favor a pardon for Snowden, who has been living in exile in Russia since 2013 after releasing information on how the government spies on Americans and then misled them.
Trump political adviser Roger Stone, who received his own pardon on Wednesday, also urged the president to pardon Snowden.
Snowden "revealed that James Clapper, the highest-ranking, most powerful spy in the world, was spying on Americans and lied to us about it," Paul told Politico. "So I think what Snowden did was a service to the American people and he ought to be pardoned."
But most Republicans consider Snowden a traitor for making America's spying capability much harder. Something Trump once echoed, though he has recently stated Snowden was treated unfairly for exposing Clapper's actions. Trump is known to despise the former director of national intelligence.
Among notable Republicans opposing a pardon: Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, House GOP Conference Chair Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Marco Rubio of Florida.
"I think he’s a traitor worthy of federal prison," Rubio said.
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