Policy & Strategy

Graham to Russian ambassador: Hand over Snowden

“If our two countries are to have a constructive
relationship moving forward, Russian cooperation in this matter is essential,”
Graham said.

{mosads}Graham cited news reports that suggest Snowden may still be in Moscow after “failing to depart for a third country this morning,” and noted that Snowden is wanted in the U.S. for criminal violations.

The Republican senator’s letter to the Russian ambassador follows a White
House request
of Russia to expel Snowden, the 29-year-old contractor who was
the source of documents revealing classified phone and
Internet surveillance programs by the NSA.

“We now understand Mr. Snowden is on Russian soil,”
National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said in a statement.

“Given our intensified cooperation after the Boston marathon
bombings and our history of working with Russia on law enforcement matters —
including returning numerous high level criminals back to Russia at the request
of the Russian government — we expect the Russian Government to look at all
options available to expel Mr. Snowden back to the U.S. to face justice for the
crimes with which he is charged.”

Snowden’s whereabouts were unknown on Monday morning, after
he left Hong Kong to Moscow. He was allegedly supposed to take a flight from
Moscow to Havana on Monday, but reporters on the plane said he was
on board.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, whose group is aiding
Snowden, said
that Snowden was “healthy and safe” but did not say where he was.

On Sunday, Graham said on “Fox News Sunday” that he thought there should be “consequences” if Russia or another country harbors Snowden.

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