A complainant attorney who launched the impeachment inquiry against President Trump rejected the comparisons between his client and Edward Snowden.
Mark S. Zaid, an attorney representing the intelligence community's whistleblower, said in an interview published Thursday that "there is nothing similar" between his client and Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor who leaked classified information to media in 2013 about the case. US Government Surveillance Activities.
"These cases couldn't be more different," said Zaid, The Washington Examiner reported. “They are night and day. This current case supports the notion that the system can work, and the Snowden saga shows the negative repercussions that may result from noncompliance with the law.
"To be a whistleblower protected by law, you have to follow legal procedures," added Zaid, a lawyer who specializes in whistleblower protection. “Snowden never tried to follow the law. What he has done in disclosing unauthorized classified information is illegal and, as a matter of law, he can never be considered a whistleblower. "
Snowden, 36, leaked classified documents detailing the activities and skills of the US government surveillance apparatus both domestically and abroad. He was later charged by the Justice Department with related crimes and was generally considered for the past six years while living in Russia.
Most recently, the unknown member of the US intelligence community filed a complaint after learning about Trump's efforts to have his Ukrainian colleague investigate Joseph R. Biden, former US vice president and current Democratic presidential candidate. House Democrats subsequently began an impeachment process last month after the White House tried to prevent Congress from seeing the complaint.
"The reporting system worked very well in this case," Zaid said of his client, the Examiner said. “Here you have the Director of National Intelligence and the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community – both appointed by Trump – registered, in writing and under oath before Congress, stating how the complainant followed all the rules properly, and his complaint was finally provided. supervisory committees and the public. "
Snowden said he repeatedly voiced concerns within the NSA about his practices before eventually leaking evidence of the agency's media activities.
Since then, Congress has passed legislation, the US Freedom Act, which has restricted one of Snowden's most controversial NSA operations: the general and unsecured collection of US telephone records.
Snowden did not immediately return a message requesting comment.