Libertarian Nominee: I’d Consider Pardoning Snowden
Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson said on Friday that he would consider pardoning NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden.
“If I were president of the United States, I would certainly look into actually pardoning Edward Snowden,” Johnson said.
The Hill reports:
He referred to recent comments from former Attorney General Eric Holder calling Snowden’s actions a “public service.”Holder was “pretty darn accurate,” said Johnson.
Johnson’s openness to leniency puts him at odds with the major party candidates. Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton has said Snowden broke the law. Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump called for his execution.
Even Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, who said during a debate that Snowden “played a very important role in educating the American public about the degree to which our civil liberties and constitutional rights are being undermined,” added that “he did break the law, and I think there should be a penalty for doing that.”
Johnson is not, however, the the only presidential candidate to offer support for Snowden. Green Party candidate Jill Stein has also said she would issue the former NSA contractor a pardon.
Johnson has been outspoken about his support for Snowden’s actions. In 2013, he publicly thanked Snowden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel for their efforts against surveillance at a “StopWatching.Us” rally.