Given the news that Donald Trump is considering pardoning Edward Snowden, there has been a lot of discussion about why Trump would do this.
It’s actually not a deviation from past actions. Just seven days after the election, Trump’s rat-fucker started working on a pardon for Julian Assange, something that Trump offered a very circumscribed answer to Mueller about. He continued to entertain such proposals, and even ordered then CIA Director Mike Pompeo to consider a theory purporting to undermine the Russian attribution of the hack, one understood to be tied to an Assange pardon.
And on March 15, 2017, Trump shared information with Tucker Carlson that would have tipped off Joshua Schulte that the FBI considered him the culprit behind the Vault 7 leaks. While Trump shared that information hours before the FBI searched Schulte’s residence and seized his passports (including a diplomatic passport he never returned to CIA), there’s no evidence that information was made public before the FBI confronted Schulte that night. Had it, though, Trump’s comments might have led Schulte to accelerate a trip to Mexico he already had scheduled. John Solomon would even go on to blame Jim Comey for not pardoning Assange in advance of the Vault 7 releases.
So Trump has repeatedly undermined the prosecution of people who released large amounts of intelligence community secrets. Snowden would just be part of a pattern.
There’s some complaint that Trump opponents — including Adam Schiff — have suggested Trump would do this (dramatically altering his prior stance) because of Putin.
In fact, Russia has deliberately encouraged Trump to believe Russia and Trump were on the same side, opposed to the US intelligence community, since weeks before he was even inaugurated.
When, on December 31, 2016, Sergey Kislyak called Mike Flynn to tell him that his intervention to undermine sanctions on Russia for interfering in the 2016 election had succeeded in persuading Putin to take no action, Kislyak told Flynn that Russia considered the sanctions — for a hostile attack on this country!!! — to be an attack targeting not just Russia, but Trump himself.
KISLYAK: Uh, you know I have a small message to pass to you from Moscow and uh, probably you have heard about the decision taken by Moscow about action and counter-action.
FLYNN: yeah, yeah well I appreciate it, you know, on our phone call the other day, you know, I, I, appreciate the steps that uh your president has taken. I think that it is was wise.
KISLYAK: I, I just wanted to tell you that our conversation was also taken into account in Moscow and …
KISLYAK: Your proposal that we need to act with cold heads~ uh, is exactly what is uh, invested in the decision.
KISLYAK: And I just wanted to tell you that we found that these actions have targeted not only against Russia, but also against the president elect.
FLYNN: yeah, yeah.
“Yeah, yeah,” Trump’s weak-kneed National Security Advisor with 30 years intelligence experience said in reply.
We don’t need to speculate about whether Russia has encouraged Trump to view Russia as an ally against a hostile American Intelligence Community. We have proof. And even Mike Flynn, with a victim complex only a fraction as Yuge as Trump’s own, simply nodded along.
I mean, if Trump does pardon Snowden, by all means he should accept it — it likely would save his life.
But if you believe Trump is considering this out of any belief in whistleblowing or transparency — or even opposition to the surveillance that has ratcheted up and gotten less accountable under his Administration — you’re simply deceiving yourself.
And, yes, there is concrete evidence that Russia has cultivated Trump’s antagonism against the IC — well before Trump’s own actions led the FBI investigate him personally — so much that he might pardon Snowden to harm them.