Washington • The heads of the House and Senate intelligence committees suggested Sunday that Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor, may have been working for Russian spy services while he was employed at an NSA facility in Hawaii last year and before he disclosed hundreds of thousands of classified government documents.
The lawmakers, Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., on the NBC program “Meet the Press” offered no specific evidence that Snowden cooperated with Moscow. There has been no public indication that the FBI’s investigation into Snowden’s actions, bolstered by separate “damage assessment” investigations at the NSA and the Pentagon, has uncovered evidence that Snowden received help from a foreign intelligence service.
But Rogers referred to a recent classified report by the Defense Intelligence Agency that he has described as concluding that Snowden stole approximately 1.7 million intelligence files that concern vital operations of the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force. He said that it would cost billions of dollars to change operations because of the security breaches.
The report remains classified, though some members of Congress have been briefed on it in recent weeks.
“I don’t think it was a gee-whiz luck event that he ended up in Moscow under the handling of the FSB,” he said, referring to the Federal Security Service, the Russian state security organization that succeeded the KGB.