On Friday, Attorney General Eric Holder refused to consider complete clemency for Edward Snowden, stating that the notion of “no harm, no foul” for the National Security Agency (NSA) leaker would be “going too far.”
Holder spoke to MSNBC’s Ari Melber in an interview to air Friday afternoon, discussing the Department of Justice’s plans for Snowden. The leaker is facing federal espionage charges should he return from Russia to the United States. High-profile organizations like The New York Times and the American Civil Liberties Union have called for Snowden’s crimes to be pardoned, arguing that his disclosures revealed constitutional violations and sparked an important conversation about privacy and government surveillance. Some NSA officials, concerned about sensitive information retained by Snowden, have also pushed for clemency as a way to retrieve the secret documents.
But while Holder left the possibility for some kind of a deal, he effectively ruled out a total pardon. “He’s a person who is charged — will be charged — with a variety of crimes,” he began. “When he has legal representation, and if those lawyers want to talk about a resolution to the case, we would obviously engage in those conversations.”
“The notion of clemency — a simple ‘no harm, no foul’ [agreement] — I think that would be going too far,” Holder continued. “But in the resolution of this matter, with an acceptance of responsibility we would always engage in those kinds of conversations.”
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