Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on Thursday released an email exchange between Edward Snowden and the National Security Agency — the only one the NSA said it had on file from Snowden.
The release of the email is a response to Snowden’s Wednesday interview on NBC, in which he said he tried to raise his concerns about the NSA’s broad surveillance against Americans.
The NSA replied by saying the email was the only relevant communication it had on file from Snowden. It does not indicate Snowden has any concerns about surveillance.
Snowden’s email to a supervisor dated April 5, 2013, says his training indicates that federal laws have the same weight as presidential executive orders. He asks whether executive orders can be overruled by federal law, and also asks for clarification on whether Defense Department supersede Director of National Intelligence regulations.
The supervisor replies that executive orders can have the “force and effect of law,” but cannot override a law.
Feinstein, who chairs the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said the email was given to her committee last month. She also said NSA has told the committee that there is no evidence that Snowden “expressed concerns or complaints, in email or any other form, about NSA’s intelligence activities to anyone in a position of authority or oversight.”
“The NSA informed the committee that it has located no other relevant communication from Snowden,” she said.
“In the months since the first leaks of classified information, the government has declassified and released significant information about NSA programs in an effort to be more transparent with the public, both in the United States and internationally,” she said. “I believe this transparency is important and should also be applied to the communication that Snowden referenced in his recent interview.”
Read Snowden’s email exchange here: