WASHINGTON — Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is teaming up with Republican U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, in calling for the dismissal of criminal charges against Edward Snowden, a National Security Administration contractor turned whistleblower.

Snowden’s disclosures to the press in 2013 sparked outrage across the country when it was revealed that the federal government was collecting data on millions of Americans without their knowledge in the name of combating terrorism.

He was charged with espionage and other crimes by the federal government for leaking the information. Gabbard and Gaetz have introduced a resolution in the House asking for those charges to be dropped.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard press conference announcing a future congressional inquiry into the whistleblower at the Department of Health, Epidemiologist Dr. Jessica Smith’s accusations about the lack of contact tracing staff. August 14, 2020
Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard once again is calling for charges against Edward Snowden to be dropped. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2020

This isn’t the first time Gabbard has called for the charges against Snowden to be dismissed. During an interview on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast last year, Gabbard, who was then running for president, said that neither Snowden nor Wikileaks founder Julian Assange should be prosecuted for disclosing government secrets.

“If it wasn’t for Snowden, the American people would never have learned the NSA was collecting phone records and spying on Americans,” Gabbard said at the time. “As president, I will protect whistle-blowers who expose threats to our freedom and liberty.”

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