Edward Snowden’s flight from Hong Kong to Moscow and plans to seek political asylum in a third country have hurt his chances of avoiding prison, lawmakers said Sunday.
Snowden’s defenders acknowledge he broke the law by leaking classified information about the National Security Agency’s (NSA) surveillance programs but argue he should be protected as a whistleblower.
Lawmakers said that defense will be hurt by Snowden’s Sunday flight to Russia, a rival nation that still spies on the United States.
“I don’t think this man is a whistleblower,” said Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in an interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
“Whatever his motives are — and I take him at face value — he could have stayed and faced the music. I don’t think running is a noble thought,” she said.
Russian officials whisked Snowden off to an undisclosed location shortly after his flight from Hong Kong landed in Moscow on Sunday.