By Jordy Yager - 06/13/13 03:38 PM EDT
The FBI is working to track down Edward Snowden for leaking scores of classified documents on U.S. surveillance programs. [WATCH VIDEO]
FBI Director Robert Mueller on Thursday told members of the House Judiciary Committee that U.S. safety has been jeopardized by the leaks and that “all necessary steps” were being taken to track down Snowden, who is believed to be in Hong Kong.
“These disclosures have caused significant harm to our nation and to our safety. We are taking all necessary steps to hold the person responsible for these disclosures.”
Mueller declined to provide more details about the FBI's probe into the leak.
“As this matter is actively under investigation, we cannot comment publicly on the details of the investigation,” he said.
Since Snowden took responsibility for the release of the documents, lawmakers have been debating whether he should be treated as a traitor, guilty of treason, or given a lighter treatment.
Snowden has given multiple interviews to the press since revealing himself as the NSA leaker, most recently surfacing to talk to the South China Morning Post. He told the paper he believes the U.S. is working to extradite him.
"I heard today from a reliable source that the United States government is trying to bully the Hong Kong government into extraditing me before the local government can learn of [additional sensitive information]," Snowden said.
"The US government will do anything to prevent me from getting this into the public eye, which is why they are pushing so hard for extradition.”
— This story was updated at 11:50 a.m.