According to a new report that Congress released Dec. 22, Edward Snowden has been in contact with Russian intelligence officers since he arrived in the country in 2013, though Snowden denied the allegations.
"Since Snowden's arrival in Moscow, he has had, and continues to have, contact with Russian intelligence services," the bipartisan House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence concluded in the 33-page report on the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked information on U.S. intelligence, surveillance and privacy, according to the committee's website.
After reviewing the information that Snowden leaked, the panel determined that the controversial anti-secrecy figure "handed over secrets that protect American troops overseas and secrets that provide vital defenses against terrorists and nation-states," though it did not publicly disclose the specifics of that information. It also said that it was unclear which, if any, of Snowden's documents fell into the hands of foreign officials.
"The Committee remains concerned that NSA, and the [intelligence community] as a whole, have not done enough to reduce the chances of future insider threats like Snowden," the report said. "Most of the documents Snowden stole have no connection to programs that could impact privacy or civil liberties — they instead pertain to military, defense, and intelligence programs of great interest to America's adversaries."
Snowden responded to the report on Twitter, saying that "everyone knows" that allegations of him working with Russian intelligence officers are "false" and calling the release "an endless parade of falsity so unbelievable it comes across as parody."
"After three years of investigation and millions of dollars, they can present no evidence of harmful intent, foreign influence, or harm," he tweeted in a series of posts. "Wow. Bottom line: this report's core claims are made without evidence, and are often contrary to both common sense and the public record. Not one page mentions this journalism won the Pulitzer Prize for Public service, reformed our laws, and changed even the President's mind."