Edward Snowden should be sent to prison, said Kansas Republican Rep. Mike Pompeo, who signed a letter urging President Barack Obama not to pardon the exiled former federal contractor.
Pompeo, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said Snowden is not a whistleblower “by any definition,” but “a liar and a criminal.”
Snowden exposed a National Security Agency surveillance program that collected bulk data on Americans. Congress has reined in the NSA’s surveillance powers since, but Pompeo supports restoring its ability to access the data it collected under the program.
“By releasing stolen classified documents, Snowden put countless American lives at risk,” Pompeo said in a statement. “While he claims his motivation was to expose U.S. surveillance operations, very few of the documents he leaked had anything to do with those programs.”
By releasing stolen classified documents, Snowden put countless American lives at risk.
Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan.
Snowden fled to Russia in 2013.
In a bipartisan letter to Obama, Pompeo and his colleagues called Snowden’s actions “the largest and most damaging disclosure of classified information in our nation’s history.”
Should Snowden return to the U.S., the lawmakers wrote, the government “must hold him accountable for his actions.”
Read the letter to Obama signed by Pompeo and other lawmakers here.