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Chairman Menendez: “Edward Snowden is a Fugitive Deserving Prosecution, not a Whistleblower Worthy of Protection.”

Menendez urges Russia to cooperate with extradition request -- Calls China’s failure to assist in the investigation “ill-timed, unfortunate, and will do little to bridge the trust deficit in U.S. China relations.”

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, urged the Russian government to cooperate with U.S. extradition requests for Edward Snowden, calling him a fugitive who “betrayed the trust of the American people.”

“Edward Snowden is not a whistleblower worthy of protection, but a fugitive deserving of prosecution,” said Chairman Menendez. “He violated his sworn pledge to protect classified information. He jeopardized our national security. And he betrayed the trust of the American people. This man is no hero.”

Menendez called the failure of the authorities in Hong Kong to facilitate the extradition and execute the arrest warrant of Snowden “ill-timed and unfortunate,” especially after recent bilateral talks to build confidence between China and the United States.

He added that reports Cuba may serve as a destination point for Snowden who is wanted on felony charges as especially farcical.

“Should Mr. Snowden consider Cuba for asylum, it would be the height of hypocrisy. To reveal sensitive information and engage in espionage in the name of safeguarding liberty and protecting privacy in the U.S. could not be more inconsistent with the Castro regime’s denial of civil rights, freedom of speech, and brutal repression of opposition voices,” added Menendez.