(WASHINGTON) — Congress is warning the international community that any government that grants asylum to former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden will incur the wrath of the U.S.
And that means punishing sanctions.
By a voice vote Thursday, the Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously approved an amendment to an international aid bill that mandates the State Department work with Congress to set penalties against any country that would prevent Snowden from being extradited to the U.S. to face charges of leaking classified intelligence on NSA surveillance programs.
South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, the bill’s sponsor, is also calling on Russia, which is still mulling temporary asylum for Snowden, “to send him back home so he can face charges for the crimes he’s allegedly committed.”
Meanwhile, U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul said on Thursday that Washington wants Snowden returned to the United States and not extradited but did not elaborate beyond that.
Snowden remains holed up in a transit area of Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow where he’s been for the past month.
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Dylan Byers, CNN
Dylan Byers Sara Murray and Kevin Liptak, CNN
Z. Byron Wolf, CNN