In an interview with Fox News on Friday, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul (R) said that National Intelligence chief James Clapper and NSA leaker Edward Snowden should "share a jail cell," intimating that Clapper is as much a criminal as the former NSA contractor turned whistleblower (or traitor depending on what school of opinion you subscribe to). Clapper testified before Congress denying that the NSA was not engaging in supposed dragnet surveillance of American citizens. Leaks by Snowden about the NSA's spying activities proved that Clapper had committed perjury when he testified earlier in the year before lawmakers.
"So I think, personally, [Snowden] probably would come home for some penalty of a few years in prison, which would be probably not unlike what James Clapper probably deserves for lying to Congress," Paul said, "and that maybe if they served in a prison cell together, we’d become further enlightened as a country over what we should and shouldn’t do."
Senator Paul made the comment during an interview with Fox News’ Eric Bolling Friday night. He also unveiled a class action lawsuit against the Obama administration over the NSA’s domestic surveillance program.
"The question here is whether or not, constitutionally, you can have a single warrant apply to millions of people," he told Fox News. "So we thought what better way to illustrate the point than by having hundreds of thousands of Americans sign up for a class-action suit… It’s kind of an unusual class-action suit, in that we think everybody in America who has a cell phone would be eligible for a class-action suit."
He urged Americans to visit http://www.randpac.com and sign onto the lawsuit. He claimed on Friday during the interview that several hundreds of thousands of people had already signed on.
"We want them to understand that we’re not willing to trade our liberty for security," Paul said of the lawsuit. "We think we can have both, but we’re very upset that this president doesn’t seem to concerned about our right to privacy."
Speaking on Face The Nation on Sunday morning, Paul said that Edward Snowden does not deserve the death penalty or even life in prison for leaking classified information about the NSA.
"I think that’s inappropriate and I think that’s why he fled, because that’s what he faced," Paul said on Face the Nation.
Paul is one of several Republican candidates expected to take a run at the presidency in 2016.