White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Tuesday that Edward Snowden never filed paperwork to seek a pardon from President Barack Obama, suggesting that in the final days of the Obama administration, the president will not grant the NSA whistle-blower clemency.
What may surprise some is at the top of the list of supporters is George Soros, chairman of Soros Fund Management and Open Society Foundations. Soros is also a mega-donor to the Democratic Party and committed over $25 million to Hillary Clinton and other Democratic interests in the 2016 elections.
Clinton has consistently labeled Snowden a criminal and believes he should stand trial for his actions. Yet, despite several within the Democratic and Republican parties echoing the same sentiment, Soros has aligned himself not only with progressives, but members of the “alt-right,” civil liberties organizations like the ACLU, and open government organizations like WikiLeaks.
During his last week as president, many expected Obama to make several last-minute pardons and commutations. Obama already made an historic push to shorten the sentences of nonviolent drug offenders. He hasn’t, however, given that many pardons.
On Tuesday, three days before the end of his administration, Obama commuted the sentence of 209 prisoners, and pardoned 64 people. Edward Snowden was not among the people granted clemency by the president.
Could the president still issue Snowden a pardon? The White House has indicated that it probably won’t happen. CNN reports that White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said on Tuesday, “Mr. Snowden has not filed paperwork to seek clemency from this administration.”
While it looks like Snowden will not be able to return home without facing prosecution, President Obama commuted the sentence of another famous government whistle-blower, Chelsea Manning. She will be released on May 17 after originally being sentenced to 35 years under the Espionage Act.