Paul calls for lighter sentence for Snowden

Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulSenate feels pressure for summer healthcare vote Overnight Defense: Trump budget gets thumbs down from hawks | UK raises threat level after Manchester attack | Paul to force vote on 0B Saudi arms deal Paul plans to force vote on 0B Saudi defense deal MORE (R-Ky.) suggested Sunday that Edward Snowden deserved a lighter sentence for his leaks, but stopped short of saying he deserved clemency.

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Paul, a staunch critic of the federal government’s surveillance tactics, said on ABC’s “This Week” that he believes Snowden has sought refuge in Russia because he’s afraid of potentially getting the death penalty or a life sentence.

“I think, personally, he probably would come home for some penalty of a few years of prison,” Paul said.

The Kentucky Republican reiterated that he thinks James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, also deserves to go to jail for what Paul believes were lies told to Congress, and that Snowden’s leaks were valuable.

“History is going to judge that he revealed great abuses of our government and great abuses of our intelligence community,” Paul said.

But Sen. Chuck SchumerCharles SchumerCongress urges Trump administration to release public transit funding Overnight Tech: FCC begins rolling back net neutrality | Sinclair deal puts heat on regulators | China blames US for 'Wanna Cry' attack Sasse dominates Twitter with Schumer photo, 'reefer' caption MORE (D-N.Y.) disagreed with Paul, saying that Snowden should come back to face trial for his leaks. Part of the tradition of civil disobedience that Snowden is claiming, Schumer says, is to face trial for your actions, like Martin Luther King Jr. did.

“Being helped by Russia and China, is not in the tradition of a true civil disobedience practitioner,” Schumer said on “This Week.”

The New York Democrat added that a Snowden trial would shed needed light on the government’s surveillance practices, including its affect on American citizens.

“It would be beneficial to the country to have the discussion,” Schumer said.