Obama’s ‘Factually Incorrect’ Edward Snowden Remarks: Game Over for a Pardon?

Obama says he ‘can’t’ pardon Snowden. But one of his attorneys hasn’t given up hope.
By Steven Nelson

President Barack Obama told German journalists last week that he can’t pardon Edward Snowden unless he physically submits to U.S. authorities. Those familiar with American law know there’s no such restriction and interpret “can’t” as meaning “won’t.”

The answer irked some Snowden backers, who launched a push this year to win the whistleblower a prison-free return from Russia, where he’s lived since U.S. officials canceled his passport in 2013, extending for years a Hong Kong-to-Latin America layover.

“Obama’s claim that he cannot pardon Edward Snowden is misleading and factually incorrect,” says Evan Greer of the advocacy group Fight for the Future, which co-organized a large pro-Snowden rally near the U.S. Capitol in 2013.

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