Lawyer says declassified segments of report paint an entirely fictional portrait and Snowden adds: The only amaze is how accidentally exonerating it is

Edward Snowden has had and continues to have contact with Russian intelligence services since arriving in Moscow three years ago, newly declassified portions of a congressional report released on Thursday claim.

The House intelligence committee released the declassified portions to provide what the panels chairperson called a fuller account of Edward Snowdens crimes and the reckless disregard he has shown for US national security.

The report is highly critical of Snowden, the former NSA contractor who revealed the scale of the NSAs surveillance program, claiming that he did not attempt to communicate his concerns to his supervisors before providing the Guardian with top-secret NSA documents.

However, the reports credibility was instantly condemned by Snowdens lawyer Ben Wizner. He rejected the report and was of the view that Snowden acted to inform the public.

The House committee spent three years and millions of dollars in a failed attempt to discredit Edward Snowden, whose actions led to the most significant intelligence the restructuring of a generation, Wizner said. The report wholly dismisses Snowdens repeated and courageous criticism of Russian monitoring and censorship laws. It blends demonstrable falsities with deceptive inferences to paint an entirely fictional portrait of an American whistleblower.

The political motivating of such reports was called into question in September when a four-page executive summary was released on the eve of the premiere of Oliver Stones biopic on the whistleblower, claiming that Snowden injury national security, without providing evidence to support the claim.

Barton Gellman, the three-time Pulitzer prize winner who use Edward Snowdens revealings in his reporting on the NSA while at the Washington Post, dismantled the reports claims when the executive heads summing-up was published, calling it aggressively dishonest and trifling.

On Thursday as the declassified portions of the report were published in full, Snowden, the former national security whistleblower, pushed back further against the accusations in a series of tweets.

Unsurprising that HPSCIs report is rifled with obvious falsehoods. The only amaze is how accidentally exonerating it is, Snowden tweeted.

Edward Snowden (@ Snowden)

After three years of investigation and millions of dollars, they can present no evidence of harmful intent, foreign influence, or harm. Wow.

December 22, 2016

The panels top Republican and Democrat joined in chiding Snowden, who in 2013 revealed US government efforts to hack into the data pipelines used by US companies to serve clients overseas. The programs collected the telephone metadata records of millions of Americans and examined emails from overseas.

Snowden subsequently fled to Hong Kong and then to Russia to avoid prosecution, after his disclosures triggered international outrage over the reach of US snoop operations.

The report pointed to statements in June 2016 by the deputy chairman of the defense and security committee in the Russian parliaments upper home, who asserted that Snowden did share intelligence with the Russian government.

The Pentagon find 13 undisclosed high risk security issues caused by Snowdens disclosure to media outlets, including the Guardian, of tens of thousands of the US eavesdropping agencys most sensitive documents, according to the congressional inquiry.

If the Chinese or Russians obtained access to materials related to these issues, American troops will be at greater hazard in any future conflict, research reports said.

The committee chairman, the Republican congressman Devin Nunes, said it will take a long time to mitigate the damage Snowden allegedly caused.

The committees top Democrat, Adam Schiff of California, told Snowden was not a whistleblower as he and his defenders claim. Most of the material he stole had nothing to do with Americans privacy, and its compromise has been of great value to Americas antagonists and those who mean to do America harm, Schiff said.

But on Twitter, Snowden added that the report itself admitted that he purged and abandoned hard drives containing the material, rather than bringing them to Russia.

Edward Snowden (@ Snowden)

Bottom line: this report's core claims are construct without evidence, and are often contrary to both common sense and the public record.

December 22, 2016

Release of the report comes as the intelligence community has accused Russia of interfering in the US elections.

Snowdens supporters have pressed Barack Obama to pardon him before he leaves office in late January. But the details in the intelligence committees report, coupled with the intense focus on Russias hacking of Democratic emails, could doom the push for a pardon.

Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report .

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