He doesn't have much hope for a pardon once the new President takes over
Despite being granted asylum in Russia, Edward Snowden has said that he does not expect or want to spend the rest of his life there.
His lawyers are currently pressing on President Obama to grant Snowden a pardon for his crimes, before his administration runs out and the new president and their party take over the White House.
Talking to New York Magazine, Snowden's lawyer Ben Wizner of the American Civil Liberties Union, stated: “We’re going to make a very strong case between now and the end of this administration that this is one of those rare cases for which the pardon power exists. It’s not for when somebody didn’t break the law. It’s for when they did and there are extraordinary reasons for not enforcing the law against the person.”
With the presidential elections set to take place on November 8th, and Obama's term officially coming to an end on January 20th of next year, time is running out for Snowden's law team to get the pardon passed.
Presidential hopefuls Clinton and Trump have already expressed for more negative opinions of Snowden than the current administration, with the former labelling him as a criminal, while the latter has stated that he is a traitor deserving of execution.
Snowden himself believes that “There is an element of absurdity to it. [...] More and more, we see the criticisms leveled toward this effort are really more about indignation than they are about concern for real harm. They want to throw somebody in prison for the rest of his life for what even people around the White House now are recognizing our country needed to talk about.”
Obama has pardoned dozens of people during his tenure as President, but the frequency of pardons has dropped dramatically as his administration has come to an end, with only four people granted a pardon in 2016 so far, and only two in 2015. The full list of pardons granted by Obama during his run can be found here.