We are just hours away from President-Elect Donald Trump taking the oath of office and becoming officially the 45th President of the United States.
I can only imagine how Ed Snowden is feeling right now. There must have been a part of him which was hope for a Presidential pardon from the outgoing President Obama – alas, it wasn’t to come. And so what now for America’s highest profile whistleblower and exile who has just been given leave to remain in Russia for another three years?
Well, like most things Russian – there is no such thing as a guarantee and if I were Snowden I’d be very very nervous right now. The Russian’s will have obtained everything they need or wanted from Snowden and in fact, his presence there was merely Putin sticking a pin in the side of Obama.
If we enter into a thawing of USA/Russian relations, an easy win for Trump would be getting Snowden back to face the music for releasing millions of confidential documents.
Snowden has tweeted that he would rather be “without a state than without a voice” – soon, he may find himself in Russian state custody – whilst awaiting extradition back to the United States – facing the rest of his life in prison and finally losing the voice he cherishes so much.
In 2016 I spoke to the author James Bamford who has met and interviewed Ed.