- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Fugitive national security contractor Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange missed out on pardons from outgoing President Trump on Wednesday.

The high-profile figures were not among the 143 pardons and commutations issued by Mr. Trump with just hours remaining in his presidency. The clemency actions included a pardon for former White House strategist Steve Bannon, who was facing trial for allegedly defrauding donors in a project to help build Mr. Trump’s border wall.

Also missing from the clemency list was Reality Winner, a former National Security Agency contractor imprisoned in 2018  for mailing classified material to a news outlet. The documents pertained to  Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The president had called Winner’s 63-month sentence “unfair.”

Snowden’s case had received the most scrutiny recently, with some Republican lawmakers urging a pardon and others in the GOP warning that clemency for the fugitive would anger senators who will sit as jurors in Mr. Trump’s pending impeachment trial.

Snowden, another former NSA contractor, has been living in Russia since 2013 after he leaked classified information revealing the vast extent of the U.S. government’s spying operations.

SEE ALSO: Donald Trump pardons, clemency benefit more than 140 people

Assange is fighting extradition on federal charges related to his alleged role in publishing classified U.S. defense information related to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He is currently imprisoned in the United Kingdom.  

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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