US revokes Edward Snowden's passport, urges Russia to expel whistleblower


The United States revoked Edward Snowden’s passport on Sunday as his globe-trotting escapades took him from Hong Kong to Moscow and on, he hopes, to Ecuador.

A State Department representative confirmed the move, and said Snowden should be held in Moscow pending extradition to the US to answer espionage charges.

"Persons wanted on felony charges, such as Mr. Snowden, should not be allowed to proceed in any further international travel, other than is necessary to return him to the United States," Jen Psaki told Agence France-Presse, adding that the cancelling of Snowden's passport does not affect his citizenship status.

Washington said Monday that it expected Russia to consider "all options available" to expel the 30-year-old former National Security Agency contractor after he landed on its territory early Sunday.

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"Given our intensified cooperation after the Boston marathon bombings and our history of working with Russia on law enforcement matters — including returning numerous high-level criminals back to Russia at the request of the Russian government — we expect the Russian government to look at all options available to expel Mr. Snowden back to the US to face justice for the crimes with which he is charged," said a statement from National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden.

Snowden admits leaking confidential documents that show the US and the UK are monitoring cellphone and internet traffic to thwart terrorism. Critics worry the programs could endanger innocent citizens.

Snowden’s name was a popular topic on the Sunday morning news shows; although there was as much anger directed toward Russian President Vladimir Putin.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) accused Russia of “aiding and abetting Snowden’s escape.”

On Meet the Press, Rogers said Russia would “love to have a little bit of coffee and a few conversations with Mr. Snowden” about American security operations.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said the Russia-American relationship will be irreparably harmed if it’s proven Moscow knew Snowden was headed there.

He also hinted at Russia-China collaboration to CNN’s "State of the Union."

“I have a feeling the hand of Beijing was involved here,” Schumer said. “Allies are supposed to treat each other in decent ways, and Putin always seems almost eager to put a finger in the eye of the United States.”

Snowden is reportedly headed to Ecuador after asking that country for asylum. Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said Monday that his government was studying the American's request.

A US justice official told Reuters the government expects to have frank discussions with Hong Kong, and expects better from his next destination.

“We will continue to discuss this matter with Hong Kong and pursue relevant law enforcement cooperation with other countries where Mr. Snowden may be attempting to travel,” Justice Department spokeswoman Nanda Chitre said.

Reuters contributed to this report.