Snowden Would Return To The U.S. If Given “Fair Trial”

The former NSA contractor spoke to a Libertarian conference in New Hampshire via Skype and described his conditions for returning home.

By Bronte Price, PoliticKING

In May 2013, Edward Snowden left his job at an NSA facility in Hawaii and flew to Hong Kong. The next month he revealed thousands of classified NSA documents. Snowden then travelled to Russia, where he was granted asylum. Snowden’s story was the subject of the Oscar winning documentary, Citizenfour, and a forthcoming bio-pic entitled Snowden. The whistleblower’s decision to release the documents sparked an international conversation about security and privacy, and how much access the government should be allowed to have to our personal lives.

Snowden has said that if he is “guaranteed a fair trial and is allowed to mount a public interest defense of his actions,” then he would be willing to return to the US. The former NSA contractor, who still lives in Russia, told the New Hampshire Liberty Forum via Skype that he would present “a public interest defense” of his decision to leak thousands of classified intelligence documents if he appeared before a US jury. “I’ve told the government I would return if they would guarantee a fair trial where I can make a public interest defense of why this was done and allow a jury to decide,” Snowden said.

Snowden faces charges that could land him in U.S. prison for up to 30 years. He has previously spoken of making deals with the government in order to return home, and his willingness to discuss a plea deal and even go to jail.

Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said last year that a plea deal is a possibility. However, Snowden told the BBC in October that he and his lawyers had not yet heard from the U.S. government.

Here’s what Edward Snowden’s legal advisor has to say about the the NSA:

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC, its affiliates, or its employees.

Continue the Discussion