Journalist Glenn Greenwald said he does not believe President Barack Obama’s decision to commute Chelsea Manning’s prison sentence would affect the fate of former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, who has been in Russia since 2013.
The difference, according to Greenwald, is that Manning, a former Army soldier, has shown remorse for her actions, while Snowden remains defiant over his leaks of information on American intelligence and surveillance operations.
“I think its very unlikely that President Obama intends to commute Snowden’s sentence let alone pardon him because he doesn’t in any way say that what he did was wrong,” said Greenwald, speaking Tuesday on CNN’s “AC360.” He’s quite proud of what he did except for the fact that he should have done it earlier.”
Greenwald said the US at this time is not officially seeking the extradition of WikiLeaks leader Julian Assange, but that Trump’s election could offer a glimmer of hope for the 45-year-old Australian, who is holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.
“What might actually affect Julian Assange’s situation is that Donald Trump has become an admirer of WikiLeaks … and he is about to become president,” Greenwald told Anderson Cooper.
In the final weeks of the Obama administration, more than a million of Snowden’s supporters have petitioned the White House to pardon him. The White House said on Tuesday, however, that Snowden had not submitted official documents requesting clemency.
“Mr. Snowden has not filed paperwork to seek clemency from this administration,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said.
Snowden is accused of espionage and theft of government property.