By Bernie Becker - 01/05/14 10:39 AM EST
Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulLawmaker seeks to investigate Obama's foreign tax compliance law Funding bill rejected as shutdown nears GOP senators hit FBI on early probe of NY bombing suspect MORE (R-Ky.) suggested Sunday that Edward Snowden deserved a lighter sentence for his leaks, but stopped short of saying he deserved clemency.
“I think, personally, he probably would come home for some penalty of a few years of prison,” Paul said.
The Kentucky Republican reiterated that he thinks James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, also deserves to go to jail for what Paul believes were lies told to Congress, and that Snowden’s leaks were valuable.
“History is going to judge that he revealed great abuses of our government and great abuses of our intelligence community,” Paul said.
But Sen. Chuck SchumerCharles Schumer3 ways the next president can succeed on immigration reform Overnight Tech: Tech pushes for debate spotlight | Disney may bid for Twitter | Dem seeks Yahoo probe Saudis hire lobbyists amid 9/11 fight MORE (D-N.Y.) disagreed with Paul, saying that Snowden should come back to face trial for his leaks. Part of the tradition of civil disobedience that Snowden is claiming, Schumer says, is to face trial for your actions, like Martin Luther King Jr. did.
“Being helped by Russia and China, is not in the tradition of a true civil disobedience practitioner,” Schumer said on “This Week.”
The New York Democrat added that a Snowden trial would shed needed light on the government’s surveillance practices, including its affect on American citizens.
“It would be beneficial to the country to have the discussion,” Schumer said.