The case of American whistleblower Edward Snowden may continue to taint the legacy of former US President Barack Obama. But the former computer intelligence consultant with the National Security Agency seems to be in a mood for banter. Taking a dig at the way the Covid-19 pandemic, which continues to spread in several parts of the world, changed the way we live and work, Snowden said, “I have been working from home since the Obama administration".
I've been working from home since the Obama administration. — Edward Snowden (@Snowden) June 1, 2021
The witty tweet was a reference to the famous whistleblowing incident in 2013 following which Snowden fled the United States after leaking secret National Security Agency files and was given asylum in Russia.
U.S. authorities have for years wanted Snowden to face a criminal trial on espionage charges brought in 2013.
In 2016, outgoing President Barack Obama refused to grant pardon to Snowden on the grounds that he couldn’t do so as the latter had never appeared in a US court. In an interview with German newspaper Der Spiegel, Obama had said, “I can’t pardon somebody who hasn’t gone before a court and presented themselves, so that’s not something that I would comment on at this point".
Later, reports suggested Donald Trump, who followed Obama in office, also considered pardoning Snowden. The Republican president had said in August 2020 that “there are a lot of people that think that he (Snowden) is not being treated fairly" by US law enforcement.
“I’m going to start looking at it," Trump had told reporters, hinting at a possible pardon while speaking at a news conference at his Bedminster, New Jersey golf club.
Meanwhile, Snowden who gave birth to a baby boy in December last year is trying to get Russian citizenship for the sake of his “future family". He and his wife Lindsay Mills have previously said that they feared being separated from their son, in an era of pandemics and closed borders, if they did not become dual US-Russian citizens.
Russia has already granted Snowden permanent residency rights, lawyer Anatoly Kucherena said earlier in 2020, a vital step towards Russian citizenship. Snowden, 37, keeps a low profile in Russia. He has praised the country’s natural beauty and the warmth of its people while using social media to criticise government policy from time to time.
(With inputs from Reuters)
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