Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., again called on President Trump to pardon former CIA contractor Edward Snowden on Thursday, saying he exposed "Deep State" abuses of power and should be seen as a whistleblower, not as a traitor.
Writing in The Federalist, Paul said Trump has served as a libertarian president, and should continue that tradition by issuing a pardon to the 37-year-old Snowden, who has been living in exile in Russia to escape federal prosecution.
Snowden, he said, revealed U.S. government spying on Americans "even beyond what was envisioned from the Patriot Act."
"It is important to remember that Snowden leaked information about unconstitutional spying and was motivated to do so after watching Obama Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lie about it under oath," the senator wrote. "Clapper lied to Congress multiple times, along with participating in many unconstitutional endeavors, including spying on Americans and participating in the Russia Hoax. He lied in 2013, and he lied again during the Russia probe."
President Barack Obama tried to protect "Deep State liars" and tried to imprison Snowden for being a “traitor," Paul said, but "Joe Biden — an ally of the Deep State and self-proclaimed author of parts of the Patriot Act — would continue the wrongful prosecution."
Not all in Paul's own party agree with him. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., tweeted on Tuesday:
To those urging a pardon of Edward Snowden: You are suggesting President @realDonaldTrump pardon a traitor. Edward Snowden is NOT a victim. Snowden has American blood on his hands and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
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