Ted Cruz has been billing himself as the only “consistent conservative” running for president. He uses this label to contrast himself with Marco Rubio and Donald Trump.
However, Cruz just flip-flopped on what to do with alleged NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The Hill reports:
“It is now clear that Snowden is a traitor, and he should be tried for treason,” Cruz said in a statement to The New York Times.
“Today, we know that Snowden violated federal law, that his actions materially aided terrorists and enemies of the United States, and that he subsequently fled to China and Russia,” he continued. “Under the Constitution, giving aid to our enemies is treason.”
Here’s what Cruz told The Blaze about Snowden in 2013:
“I don’t know if what Mr. Snowden has said is true or false,” Cruz said during an event hosted by TheBlaze in Washington. “We need to determine that. We need to determine what his motives were, whether he was telling the truth.”
He continued, “If it is the case that the federal government is seizing millions of personal records about law-abiding citizens, and if it is the case that there are minimal restrictions on accessing or reviewing those records, then I think Mr. Snowden has done a considerable public service by bringing it to light.”
Treason is defined in the Constitution under Article III, Section 3 this way:
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.
Russia and China are not enemies of the United States. Nor has it been alleged that Snowden provided his information directly to terrorist groups the U.S. is at war with.
Calling for Snowden to face the legal consequences of his actions is one thing. Calling for him to be tried for treason is something completely different.