Rep. Gabbard calls on pardons for Edward Snowden, Julian Assange

Rep. Gabbard calls on pardons for Edward Snowden, Julian Assange

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard renewed her bid for President Trump to pardon Edward Snowden and Julian Assange, saying the two whistleblowers should be rewarded for exposing “the deception and criminality of those in the deep state.”

On Thursday, the former presidential candidate retweeted an Oct. 6 video pushing legislation to drop the criminal charges against the former National Security Agency contractor and WikiLeaks founder.

“@realDonaldTrump Since you’re giving pardons to people, please consider pardoning those who, at great personal sacrifice, exposed the deception and criminality of those in the deep state,” the Hawaii congresswoman tweeted.

Her efforts come on the heels of a full pardon Trump granted to Michael Flynn, his first national security advisor, on Wednesday.

Both Snowden and Assange face espionage charges stemming from separate cases in the US.

Assange’s charges relate to WikiLeaks’ publication of secret American military documents a decade ago. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 175 years in prison.

Snowden is accused of disclosing the NSA’s massive domestic surveillance program to the Guardian, which also exposed that then-DNI James Clapper had lied to Congress about warrantless spying on US citizens. He has been holed up in Russia to avoid prosecution as the federal charges against him are pending.

In August, Trump said he would “look at” whether to pardon Snowden — a move Attorney General William Barr at the time said he was “vehemently opposed” to.

“There are many, many people — it seems to be a split decision that many people think that he should be somehow treated differently, and other people think he did very bad things,” Trump said. “And I’m going to take a very good look at it.”

Other federal defendants, including “Tiger King” star Joe “Exotic” Maldonado-Passage, have been appealing to Trump for a pardon before he leaves office on Jan. 20.