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White House, U.S. Lawmakers Reject Snowden Clemency

Former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden
The White House and top U.S. lawmakers have rejected a plea for clemency by fugitive National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

Snowden made the plea in a letter given to a German politician during a meeting in Russia last week.

In the letter, Snowden said he is ready to testify before the U.S. Congress to shed light on "possibly serious offenses."

White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer said Snowden violated U.S. law and should return and face justice.

Senator Dianne Feinstein, the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Snowden had done an "enormous disservice" to his country.

Snowden was granted temporary asylum in Russia.

He is wanted by the United States on espionage charges following his disclosure of information concerning widespread U.S. government surveillance, including the alleged surveillance of close Washington allies such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP