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'Pardon Edward Snowden' petition hits number needed for WH response

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A petition submitted on the White House’s “We the People” website to pardon NSA leaker Edward Snowden has crossed the threshold of 100,000 signatures needed to trigger a response from the administration.

As of Monday afternoon, the petition had approximately 113,000 signatures. Titled “Pardon Edward Snowden,” it reads: “Edward Snowden is a national hero and should be immediately issued a full, free, and absolute pardon for any crimes he has committed or may have committed related to blowing the whistle on secret NSA surveillance programs.”

The development comes as the United States is trying to locate the fugitive, whose specific whereabouts were unknown Monday.

“What we know is, is that we’re following all of the appropriate legal channels, and working with various other countries to make sure that rule of law is observed,” President Obama said Monday. “And beyond that, I’ll refer to the Justice Department that has been actively involved in the case.”

Though the petition threshold has been crossed, the full pardon it seeks is unlikely to happen.

White House National Security Spokeswoman Caitlin M. Hayden told The Washington Times in an email Monday that Mr. Snowden “is a fugitive from felony charges.”

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