Its been seven years since Edward Snowden leaked highly classified National Security Agency information to a host of global media organizations and he still remains in exile in Russia. Politico has now published data showing that the whistleblower has made $1.2 million from speaking engagements since 2015. The financial information came to light as part of a filing by the U.S. Justice Department in court in Massachusetts as part of an ongoing lawsuit aimed at stripping Snowden of all profits he earned since his disclosures stunned the world. That encompasses profits from speaking fees and his book, "Permanent Record", which were not cleared with the NSA and CIA. The Macmillan Publishing Group agreed in April to direct future royalties from "Permanent Record" to the government, though Snowden's right to an undisclosed advance has not been challenged.
Between September 2015 and May 2020, Snowden made $1,225,800 from 67 virtual speeches and panel-discussion appearences. The most lucrative event was at CLSA, a Hong Kong-based brokerage firm, which netted him $50,000. He also pocketed $35,000 after speaking at Piston in Kuwait along with $32,000 from a speaking event at a Portuguese tourism association. Many people still believe Snowden acted in the common good but critics are likely to see the lucrative speaking fees as proof that he is capitalizing on his alleged crimes. Last week, President Trump said he would look into pardoning Snowden. He has previously called him a traitor who should be executed.