WASHINGTON (CBS DC/AP) — The White House and the heads of the intelligence committees in Congress are rejecting a plea for clemency by National Security Agency-contractor-turned-fugitive Edward Snowden.
White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer says no such offers are being discussed. He tells ABC’s “This Week,” that Snowden should return to the U.S. and face charges, which include leaking classified information.
That sentiment is echoed by the committee chairmen, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California and Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan.
Rogers calls clemency for Snowden a “terrible idea.” Feinstein says Snowden broke the law, when he could have privately reported his revelations to her committee.
Snowden, who has temporary asylum in Russia, made the plea in a letter released Friday.
Rogers and Feinstein appeared on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
“He had an opportunity — if what he was, was a whistleblower — to pick up the phone and call the House Intelligence Committee, the Senate Intelligence Committee, and say, ‘Look, I have some information you ought to see,” said Feinstein, the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
“And we would certainly see him…and we would have looked at that information. And that didn’t happen.”
Sen. Dianne Feinstein stated that the National Security’s phone-tapping of allied foreign leaders may have more “political liability” than “intelligence viability.”
In response to Snowden’s plea for clemency, Sen. Feinstein said, “My reaction would be negative. First of all this is an American. He was a contractor, he was trusted. He stripped our system.”
“I think the answer is no clemency,” she said, adding that he should be prosecuted.
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)