The White House and congressional leaders on Sunday knocked down former NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s plea for clemency.
“Mr. Snowden violated U.S. law,” White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer, speaking on ABC’s This Week, said of the leaker. “He should return to the U.S. and face justice.”
Snowden, who has temporary asylum in Russia after revealing troves of classified information on American surveillance activities, made the clemency plea in a one-page letter given to a German politician on Friday.
“Speaking the truth is not a crime,” he wrote in the letter.
But congressional leaders were no more sympathetic than the White House. Democratic California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Snowden should have lodged his concerns with her committee privately.
“That didn’t happen, and now he’s done this enormous disservice to our country,” Feinstein said on CBS’ Face the Nation. “I think the answer is no clemency.”