Get ready for another year of hand-wringing over Edward Snowden’s Russian residency.
The fugitive leaker will likely have his expiring asylum status renewed as soon as next week, according to a Russian immigration official.
“I do not see any problems in extending his temporary refugee status. His circumstances have not changed,” said an official of Russia’s migration service, according to the Interfax news agency. “His life is still in danger, so the Federal Migration Service has every reason to extend his status.”
Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor, applied earlier this week to renew his temporary asylum, which expires at the end of July, according to his Russian lawyer. He has lived in Russia since last summer, when his globe-trotting hunt for safe harbor from U.S. authorities took him from Hong Kong — where he handed over classified intelligence secrets to journalists Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras — to Russia.
Snowden has said he had hoped to fly on to Cuba or another place in Latin America, but the U.S. froze his passport, leaving him marooned for weeks at an airport in Moscow. Russia eventually granted Snowden’s one-year asylum request, which further deteriorated the country’s already-strained relations with the U.S.
U.S.-Russian relations have only worsened since then, and an extension of Snowden’s asylum, while not unexpected, is likely to further frustrate the Obama administration. Russian President Vladimir Putin has on occasion used Snowden as a sort of diplomatic prop, once answering a question from the computer technician during a live town hall to claim the Kremlin does not spy on its citizens in any fashion resembling the NSA’s intelligence-gathering activities.
Snowden, 30, has long said a return to the U.S. was not possible under current espionage law. Despite calls from his critics and several prominent lawmakers and officials to “come home and face the music,” he has repeatedly insisted that he would have “no chance” of earning a fair trial.
Snowden has adopted a relatively hermetic lifestyle in Russia but has shown an eagerness to be more visible in recent months. His leaks have now fueled more than a year’s worth of investigative reports in major publications around the world, the fallout from which continues to have a global impact. The disclosures have forced President Obama and Congress to take steps toward reforming aspects of the NSA’s spying programs.
What We're Following See More »
Trump, in a statement: “Based on the fact that the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged and Crooked Hillary Clinton and Deborah Wasserman Schultz will not allow Bernie Sanders to win, and now that I am the presumptive Republican nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second place finisher. ... I will wait to debate the first place finisher in the Democratic Party, probably Crooked Hillary Clinton, or whoever it may be.”
"It's about time for unity," said UAW President Dennis Williams. "We're endorsing Hillary Clinton. She's gotten 3 million more votes than Bernie, a million more votes than Donald Trump. She's our nominee." He called Sanders "a great friend of the UAW" while saying Trump "does not support the economic security of UAW families." Some 28 percent of UAW members indicated their support for Trump in an internal survey.
"Donald Trump on Thursday reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president, completing an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and sets the stage for a bitter fall campaign. Trump was put over the top in the Associated Press delegate count by a small number of the party's unbound delegates who told the AP they would support him at the convention."
"Clinton and Bernie Sanders "are now devoting additional money to television advertising. A day after Sanders announced a new ad buy of less than $2 million in the state, Clinton announced her own television campaign. Ads featuring actor Morgan Freeman as well as labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta will air beginning on Fridayin Fresno, Sacramento, and Los Angeles media markets. Some ads will also target Latino voters and Asian American voters. The total value of the buy is about six figures according to the Clinton campaign." Meanwhile, a new poll shows Sanders within the margin of error, trailing Clinton 44%-46%.