Snowden and Assange Deserve Pardons. So Do the Whistleblowers Trump Imprisoned. Reply

By James Risen, The Intercept

Press freedom advocates must be careful not to indulge Trump’s conspiracy theories while they lobby for whistleblower pardons.

In 2007, the Bush administration’s Justice Department sent me a letter saying it was conducting a criminal investigation into “the unauthorized disclosure of classified information” in my 2006 book, “State of War.”

When my lawyers called the Justice Department about the letter, the prosecutors refused to say I was not a “subject” of their leak investigation. That was ominous. If I were considered a “subject,” rather than simply a witness, it meant the government hadn’t ruled out prosecuting me for publishing classified information.

Eventually — after the Obama administration took over the case — the Justice Department decided to treat me only as a witness and did not try to prosecute me.

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