National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden is guilty of treason, the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee said Monday.
“I don’t look at this as being a whistle-blower,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calf.) said. “I think it’s an act of treason.”
The whereabouts of Snowden were unclear Monday as authorities ramped up an investigation that could lead to his extradition and prosecution.
The White House ducked questions about Snowden even as it came under conflicting pressures from across the political spectrum to either prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law or show leniency.
Republican lawmakers urged the Obama administration to extradite Snowden “at the earliest date” possible, after he revealed on Sunday that he was responsible for one of the largest intelligence leaks in U.S. history.
Democrats like Feinstein also said the source behind the leak of the NSA’s Internet and phone surveillance programs must be prosecuted.
“He took an oath — that oath is important,” she said. “He violated the oath, he violated the law. It’s an act of treason in my view.”