Reportedly, United States intelligence officials have collected reliable information that Russia has brought up turning over Edward Snowden as a “gift” to Donald Trump. Trump has called Snowden a “spy” and a “traitor.” Trump has even gone as far as to state that he believes that Snowden should be executed.
All this information comes from a senior U.S. official who has had the opportunity to analyze the highly sensitive intelligence reports. The reports details that shows that handing over Edward Snowden is one of various ploys Russia may take to “curry favor” to Donald Trump, reports the Business Insider.
The information is confirmed by a second source inside the intelligence community who confirms Russian conversations and notes that have been gathered since Donald Trump’s inauguration.
Ben Wizner, Snowden’s attorney spoke recently with NBC News and stated that he and Snowden were unaware of any plans that would result in him being sent back to the U.S. Wizner says that they have seen no signals that this could be in the works and it wasn’t something that they were concerned about.
Edward Snowden responded to the report on Twitter. He tweeted that no country trades away its spies. He added that if they did the rest of the world would fear they were next.
Juan Zarate, the former deputy national security adviser has warned Donald Trump and his administration that they need to be cautious in accepting any deal with Vladimir Putin concerning Snowden. Zarate states that Russia has already extracted what they want from Edward Snowden when it comes to information so the situation would be a win-win for Putin.
Zarate adds that handing Snowden over would bring a desire for more cooperation between the U.S. and Russia, but it would also cause controversy and cases around the U.S. role of surveillance. It would also change the future of both privacy and civil liberties. Zarate adds that all of that would-be music to Putin’s ears reports The Independent.
So far, the White House has given no response, but the Justice Department states that it would welcome Edward Snowden’s return. Snowden faces federal charges that carry a sentence of a minimum of 30 years in prison.
Dimitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson has publicly stated that the talk of returning Snowden to the U.S. is total “nonsense.” True or not when it comes to Edward Snowden, Russia holds all the cards.
By Tammy Marie Rose