Edward Snowden has agreed to forfeit more than USD 5 million he earned from his book and speaking fees to the United States government for violating nondisclosure agreements he signed with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and National Security Agency (NSA), according to court records.
The book Permanent Record was published last year. The former CIA contractor, who leaked intelligence secrets in 2013, had published the book without the permission of the US government.
Snowden, who last year appealed for asylum in France, could get a pardon from Donald Trump after the president said in August that he could look into it. However, Snowden has said he is neither looking for a parade nor a pardon, adding that he simply wanted a fair trial.
A federal judge had sided with the Justice Department’s lawsuit to claw back Snowden’s proceeds—he hasn’t approved the forfeiture plan yet. Snowden, who has been living in Russia since 2013, agreed with the US administration for the money to be put in a trust. An attorney for Snowden said the agreement doesn’t enable the government to take the money immediately and that Snowden is considering to appeal against the judge’s previous ruling that he was liable for the disclosures.
Snowden, who earned USD 4.2 million in book sales and royalties, earned USD 1.03 million from the various speeches he gave about the book.
Former national security advisor John Bolton, who published an incriminating book about President Trump earlier this year, faces a similar attempt by the Justice Department to claw back proceeds for publishing.