Snowden: Possible Trump Pick Petraeus Disclosed ‘Far More Highly Classified Secrets' Than I Ever Did

"We have a two-tiered system of justice in the United States," Edward Snowden declared in an interview with Katie Couric, as his lawyers fight for a pardon before Donald Trump takes office. Snowden said the system is one in which "people who are either well-connected to government or they have access to an incredible amount of resources get very light punishments."


The former National Security Agency contractor was discussing former CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus, who is under consideration for Secretary of State in the Trump administration, despite still being on probation for sharing highly classified government information with his biographer/mistress Paula Broadwell, a crime for which he lost his job. 

Despite Petraeus' actions, Snowden continued, "When the government came after him, they charged him with a misdemeanor...He never spent a single day in jail, despite the type of classified information he exposed.” Said information included giving "highly classified 'code word' documents — including the identity of covert officers and notes of National Security Council meetings — to Paula Broadwell, a biographer with whom he was having an affair." This information was, Snowden told Couric, "far more highly classified than I ever did with journalists...And he shared this information not with the public for their benefit, but with his biographer and lover for personal benefit — conversations that had information, detailed information, about military special-access programs, that’s classified above top secret, conversations with the president and so on.”

Now Petraeus is under consideration for a cabinet job, while Snowden remains in exile in Moscow while his lawyers seek a last-minute pardon from Obama, or at least a plea bargain that would allow him to return to the United States with minimal prison time for disclosing classified information. Snowden did not say what terms would be aaceptable to him for a plea deal, only reiterating that, "where the government goes, ‘This person was acting in good faith. They were trying to do right by the American people. But they did break the law.’ No charges are ever brought, or they’re brought very minimally.” 

In addition to Petraeus, he cited Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who told the Senate Intelligence Committee that the NSA does not collect data on American citizens, a claim that was disproven in the documents Snowden released to journalists. Snowden reminds us that generally, "giving false testimony to Congress under oath, as he did, is a felony. It’s typically punished by three to five years in prison.” Clapper submitted his resignation on November 18 of this year. He will retire without having to answer for those claims. 

Meanwhile, Petraeus continues his apology tour/Secretary of State audition, telling ABC's George Stephanopolous, "Five years ago, I made a serious mistake," which he says he has paid "a very heavy price" for. Donald Trump has yet to announce his pick, but is said to have widened the field of candidates. 

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