Some Republicans have expressed their disgust at the possibility that Donald Trump could grant a presidential pardon to whistleblower Edward Snowden towards the end of his presidency.
Snowden is accused of espionage and theft of government property and has been living in Russia after leaking National Security Agency information on the agency’s secret mass surveillance programs.
A pardon would be a change of heart for Trump, who tweeted critically of Snowden before he took office, he called Snowden a “traitor”.
“Snowden is a traitor and a disgrace,” Trump tweeted back in May 2014. “Make no mistake, he is no hero. In fact he is a coward who should come back & face justice.”
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, wrote that Edward Snowden “deserves a pardon” because all he did was “expose unconstitutional spying”.