Snowden Hints at Clemency, US Lawmakers Reject Notion

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2013-11_d9651319ec.jpgAFPTV/AFP/Getty Images (MOSCOW) -- Edward Snowden apparently should not hold his breath waiting for the United States to offer him clemency on charges related to his disclosures of classified government documents. In an article published Sunday in the German news magazine Der Spiegel, Snowden argues that he has initiated an important debate about whether American spies are overreaching.

"Instead of causing damage, the usefulness of the new public knowledge for society is now clear because reforms to politics, supervision and laws are being suggested," he writes in an article entitled "Manifesto for the Truth." "Citizens have to fight against the suppression of information about affairs of essential importance for the public. Those who speak the truth are not committing a crime," Snowden writes.

Dianne Feinstein, the Democratic chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said on the CBS program Face the Nation Sunday that Snowden has done an "enormous disservice to our country and I think the answer is no clemency."

Her Republican counterpart, Mike Rogers of Michigan, agreed. "No, I don't see any reason" to grant clemency, he said on the CBS program. "I wouldn’t do that. He needs to come back and own up. We can have those conversations, if he believes there are vulnerabilities he'd like to disclose."

Senior White House advisor Dan Pfeiffer said on ABC's This Week Sunday that there had been no consideration of clemency, and that Snowden should return to the U.S. to face charges.

Snowden has been granted temporary asylum in Russia.

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