McCaul on Manning Pardon: ‘Unforgiveable’ That Obama ‘Let a Traitor Off the Hook’

By Penny Starr | January 18, 2017 | 12:09pm EST
Former Army soldier Chelsea Manning (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) – Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, released a statement on Tuesday, saying that President Barack Obama’s commutation of former Army soldier Chelsea Manning’s prison sentence for leaking U.S. intelligence information to Wikileaks was “unforgiveable” and amounts to pardoning a traitor.

“Time and again [Obama] has put politics before our national security, and his decision to let a traitor off the hook on his way out the door is unforgivable,” McCaul said.

On Tuesday, President Barack Obama overruled his own Defense secretary by commuting Manning’s 35-year sentence, which was imposed in 2013. He will be released from prison in May.

“A former intelligence official described being ‘shocked’ to learn of Obama's decision, adding that the ‘entire intelligence community is deflated by this inexplicable use of executive power,’” CNN reported.

McCaul said in a statement, “I am appalled at President Obama’s decision to free someone who betrayed our country so egregiously. Manning is a criminal who stole our national security secrets, damaged our alliances, and put innocent lives in danger around the world.

“Manning deserves universal condemnation, not clemency, and it is disgraceful for a Commander in Chief to set this kind of precedent,” McCaul said.

“Despite all the damage that has been done in recent years from unauthorized intelligence disclosures, Obama is now sending a message to future leakers of classified information that they might be forgiven. Time and again he has put politics before our national security, and his decision to let a traitor off the hook on his way out the door is unforgivable,” he added.

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