Petraeus, who is under consideration for a cabinet position in the Trump administration, “shared information that was far more highly classified than I ever did,” said Snowden.
Petraeus shared classified documents with his mistress and biographer, Paula Broadwell. He was charged with unauthorized removal and retention of classified information and was sentenced by a federal judge to two years probation and a $100,000 fine.
Rep. Mike Pompeo, a Kansas Republican Trump tapped to head-up the CIA, has called for Snowden’s execution. “He should be brought back from Russia and given due process, and I think that the proper outcome would be that he would be given a death sentence for having put friends of mine, friends of yours, in the military today, at enormous risk because of the information he stole and then released to foreign powers,” said Pompeo.
In 2013, Trump also called for Snowden’s execution. “You know, spies in the old days used to be executed,” he told Steve Doocy of Fox News.
Asked about newspapers and websites that publish stories about Snowden’s revelations, Trump said it is “disgraceful” and added that if retribution against whistleblowers is not “swift and really strong, you’re going to have other people coming out with more information than he’s got,” The Washington Post reported.
In November lawyers representing Snowden asked President Obama to pardon the whistleblower. “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,” Obama told the German newspaper Der Spiegel.
Obama’s remark was political and had nothing to do with the law or the Constitution.
In 1886, the Supreme Court ruled the “power of pardon conferred by the Constitution upon the President is unlimited except in cases of impeachment. It extends to every offense known to the law, and may be exercised at any time after its commission, either before legal proceedings are taken or during their pendency, or after conviction and judgment. The power is not subject to legislative control.”
Snowden commented on the legal double standard used in the case of Petraeus.
“We have a two-tiered system of justice in the United States, where people who are either well-connected to government or they have access to an incredible amount of resources get very light punishments,” he told Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric during an interview in Moscow.
Snowden cited Director of National Intelligence James Clapper as another example. In March 2013, Clapper told the Senate Intelligence Committee the NSA does not collect information on US citizens. A document released by Snowden revealed Clapper lied to the Senate.
“When we had the most senior intelligence official in the United States, Gen. James Clapper, who lied to the American people and all of Congress on camera, under oath, in the Senate, in a famous exchange with Ron Wyden, he wasn’t even charged,” Snowden said. “But giving false testimony to Congress under oath, as he did, is a felony. It’s typically punished by three to five years in prison,” Snowden told Couric.