Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) on Sunday called for the prosecution of Edward Snowden, the admitted leaker of top secret documents detailing the National Security Agency’s phone and internet surveillance programs.
“If Edward Snowden did in fact leak the NSA data as he claims, the United States government must prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law and begin extradition proceedings at the earliest date,” King said in a statement.
“The United States must make it clear that no country should be granting this individual asylum.”
“This is a matter of extraordinary consequence to American intelligence,” King added.
Snowden, a 29-year-old technical engineer with defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, went public on Sunday in an interview with The Guardian, acknowledging that he was the source behind NSA leaks.
In the video dated June 6, he said that he was in Hong Kong – a country with which the U.S. has a bilateral extradition treaty.
“The only thing I can do is sit here and hope the Hong Kong government does not deport me,” he told reporter Glenn Greenwald.
“My predisposition is to seek asylum in a country with shared values. The nation that most encompasses this is Iceland. They stood up for people over Internet freedom. I have no idea what my future is going to be.”
Asked what he thought would happen to him now, Snowden replied, “Nothing good.”
Several lawmakers called for the prosecution of the then-anonymous leaker on the rounds of the Sunday morning talk shows.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) said the national security leaks would endanger American lives.
Rogers said the leaker had other ways to bring about a change in policy.
He could come to the committees, if they had concern. We have IGs that they can go to in a classified way if they have concern,” he said.