Former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden contacted the agency’s general counsel with a procedural question, not to raise concerns about the scope of secret intelligence gathering, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said.
Snowden, living in Russia with his U.S. passport revoked, said in a NBC Television interview that aired yesterday that a paper trail exists showing he raised concerns about U.S. intelligence gathering internally before releasing a trove of secret documents last year about the program.
“There were and there are numerous avenues that Mr. Snowden could have used to raise other concerns or whistle-blower allegations,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters today at a briefing. “The appropriate authorities have searched for additional indications of outreach from Mr. Snowden in those areas and to date have not found any engagements related to his claims.”
Snowden told NBC he would like to return to the U.S., while Carney reiterated he is welcome to come home and face criminal charges against him.
In the April 5, 2013, e-mail released today, Snowden asked the NSA general counsel whether an executive order supersedes federal law. He said he was following up on a work training course he’d taken.
The NSA told the Senate Intelligence Committee “it has located no other relevant communication from Snowden,” Senator Dianne Feinstein, chairwoman of that committee, said today in an e-mailed statement.
Snowden was working for McLean, Virginia-based Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corp. (BAH) when he downloaded about 1.7 million intelligence files -- the biggest theft of U.S. secrets ever. He has said his goal in releasing the documents to media outlets was to call the public’s attention to programs he believed had expanded with little meaningful oversight.
Snowden faces espionage and other charges in the U.S.
To contact the reporter on this story: Angela Greiling Keane in Washington at email@example.com