Pete King Calls for ‘All-Out Political and Legislative War’ Against Snowden Clemency

Pete King, (screengrab:
Pete King, (screengrab:

Long Island Congressman Pete King, not known for being bashful on national security issues, is calling for “all-out” political warfare to prevent NSA leaker Edward Snowden from being granted clemency.

“The president has the right to give pardons–to give clemency; the Justice Department can do that,” Mr. King said in a Fox News interview yesterday. “But to me there should be an all-out political and legislative war over this.”

Mr. King was reacting to news that libertarian ex-Congressman Ron Paul has been organizing a clemency petition on behalf of Mr. Snowden, who famously leaked National Security Agency documents on American spying to journalists last year before fleeing to Russia. Mr. King had previously raged at The New York Times for editorializing in favor of clemency for Mr. Snowden.

Mr. King went on to say that Mr. Paul’s son, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, has an “obligation” to speak out on the topic. “Ron Paul, to be asking for clemency for Snowden, is absolutely disgraceful. Listen, I know Ron Paul. I liked him. I sat next to him for years. What was done here was wrong. And I think Senator Rand Paul has an obligation put his opinion out on this,” said Mr. King.

He then linked the Snowden issue to the younger Paul’s controversial claim that Hillary and Bill Clinton should be judged by Mr. Clinton’s infamous Monica Lewinsky scandal. Mr. Paul, a Republican, and Ms. Clinton, a Democrat, are both considered potential 2016 presidential candidates. Mr. King, a Republican, says he is exploring a bid as well.

“Listen, if he can criticize Bill Clinton, or Hillary Clinton, for what Bill Clinton supposedly did, then I think  Rand Paul has an obligation to speak about [what] Ron Paul, his father, is doing,” continued Mr. King. “I say Rand Paul has an obligation to speak out now if he’s going to be running for president while his father is saying a traitor should be given a clemency and he’s inheriting his father’s followers.”

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