Edward Snowden in Moscow on Trump, Putin and dwindling hopes of a presidential pardon

In an exclusive interview in Russia with Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric, Edward Snowden, the fugitive whistleblower who leaked information about U.S. surveillance activities, says he is “kind of encouraged” by the idea that Russian President Vladimir Putin might return him to the U.S. to stand trial because that would show the world he’s not a spy and Russia “doesn’t own me.” But he also acknowledged he isn’t eager to return home to face U.S. justice, saying such a prospect “would be a threat to my liberty and to my life.”

Snowden’s lawyers and defenders are privately seeking to open discussion of a possible plea bargain that would allow him to return home without facing a trial that could result in a long prison sentence. A letter to Obama and Attorney General Loretta Lynch from the Pardon Snowden campaign, signed by 15 former staff members of the Church Committee — which exposed abuses by the FBI and CIA in the 1970s — urged “leniency” for Snowden, while avoiding any mention of a pardon.

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