Author Topic: Eric Holder: If Edward Snowden were open to plea, we’d talk  (Read 300 times)

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Eric Holder: If Edward Snowden were open to plea, we’d talk
« on: January 23, 2014, 06:57:50 PM »
http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=88B419B6-6DBD-4896-AAE0-440822E55890

 Eric Holder: If Edward Snowden were open to plea, we’d talk
By: Josh Gerstein
January 23, 2014 04:32 PM EST

Attorney General Eric Holder said Thursday that prosecutors would hold talks with National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden if he were willing to plead guilty to criminal charges.

“If Mr. Snowden wanted to come back to the United States and enter a plea, we would engage with his lawyers. We’d do that with any defendant who wanted to enter a plea of guilty,” Holder said during an appearance at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center.

While the attorney general suggested a plea deal was a possibility, he dismissed calls for a pardon that would absolve Snowden of legal responsibility for disclosing classified information he obtained while working in Hawaii as a contractor for the NSA. In recent weeks, editorials in the New York Times and Britain’s Guardian newspaper urged some form of amnesty for Snowden because of the debate over surveillance triggered by his revelations.



“We’ve always indicated… that the notion of clemency was not something we were willing to consider,” Holder said at UVA. “Were he to come back to the United States and enter a plea, we would engage with his lawyers.”

A federal criminal complaint filed in June charges Snowden with three felonies: unauthorized disclosure of national defense information, unauthorized disclosure of communications intelligence information and theft of government property.

Holder’s comments at UVA came following similar remarks he made in an MSNBC interview earlier Thursday, expressing an openness to plea talks with Snowden.

In an online chat Thursday, Snowden suggested a desire to come home, but said he views that as a non-starter at the moment because he believes he cannot get a fair trial. He did not address the possibility of a plea bargain.

”Returning to the US, I think, is the best resolution for the government, the public, and myself, but it’s unfortunately not possible in the face of current whistleblower protection laws, which through a failure in law did not cover national security contractors like myself,” Snowden said.

“The hundred-year old law under which I’ve been charged, which was never intended to be used against people working in the public interest, and forbids a public interest defense. This is especially frustrating, because it means there’s no chance to have a fair trial, and no way I can come home and make my case to a jury,” he added.

It was unclear from Holder’s remarks whether he was open to engaging in plea negotiations with Snowden even while the former contractor remains in Russia, beyond the reach of U.S. law enforcement.

“Of course if Mr. Snowden’s lawyers informed us their client was prepared to take accountability by pleading guilty to the charges filed against him, we would engage with his lawyers on that, as we would with any other defendant,” said a Justice Department spokesman who asked not to be named.

Earlier this month, FBI Director James Comey said he opposed holding talks with fugitives about any issue other than their surrender.

“I think the Department of Justice’s policy is, and at least used to be when I was last in the business, and it’s one I agree with — that we don’t negotiate with fugitives, except to arrange their surrender,” Comey said during a roundtable with journalists. “I’ve been involved personally in cases where fugitives wanted to plea bargain from afar outside the jurisdiction or argue the case ought to be dropped, and my response always was: No way. Come back here. Subject yourself to the jurisdiction of the court, and we’ll listen in good faith to any arguments you have.”

However, in at least one high-profile case, Holder has said he would hold discussions with a defendant’s lawyers even when that defendant has chosen to remain outside U.S. territory.

Holder said in 2001 that he would have engaged in talks with financier Marc Rich’s lawyers about a potential resolution to criminal charges against him. “In my view, the government — and the cause of justice — often gains from hearing about the flaws, real or imagined, cited by defense counsel in a criminal case,” Holder told a House committee.

However, as deputy attorney general under President Bill Clinton, Holder did not force the then-U.S. Attorney in New York to hold such discussions with Rich’s lawyers. They ultimately turned to the White House, obtaining a controversial pardon from Clinton the night before he left office.

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Re: Eric Holder: If Edward Snowden were open to plea, we’d talk
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2014, 08:59:09 AM »
Mike Goodwin, NY Post:
Quote
Obama signals leniency for traitor Edward Snowden

It was last June when President Obama downplayed the significance of Edward Snowden by saying, “I’m not going to be scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker.”

That was shortly after Snowden arrived in Moscow from Hong Kong, but Obama rejected the idea he should call the leaders of those countries and demand the fugitive’s return.

“This is not exceptional from a legal perspective,” the president insisted. “I’m not going to have one case suddenly being elevated to the point where I have to do wheeling and dealing and trading.”

If only he had. Now he’s wheeling and dealing from weakness and after enormous damage to America’s national security and reputation.

The news that Attorney General Eric Holder is ready to talk with Snowden’s lawyers is ominous. Holder’s comment in a TV interview that he would make a deal if Snowden accepts responsibility for leaking secrets signals desperation more than determination.

Obama himself opened the waffle door, saying earlier, “I do not have a yes/no answer on clemency.”

He should, and the answer should be no, hell no. Snowden is a traitor, charged under the Espionage Act even before the extent of his theft and cooperation with Russia and China is fully known.

Any deal that mitigates his punishment by calling him a whistleblower would be a disastrous invitation to copycats. That he embarrassed Obama among world leaders and the left wing of his party is no excuse for going soft.

The timing of the overture is probably related to Holder’s suit accusing the private security contractor that supposedly vetted Snowden of massive fraud. Whatever the merits of that case, there is no doubt that Snowden betrayed his country and helped its enemies.

It’s way past time for Obama to say so loudly, clearly and often.

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Offline rangerrebew

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Re: Eric Holder: If Edward Snowden were open to plea, we’d talk
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2014, 09:20:34 AM »
He's willing to talk about what form of execution Snowden will accept. :whistle:
There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.
Public virtue cannot exist in a nation without private, and public virtue is the only foundation of republics. There must be a positive passion for the public good, the public interest, honour, power and glory, established in the minds of the people, or there can be no republican government, nor any real liberty: and this public passion must be superior to all private passions. John Adams

Offline 240B

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Re: Eric Holder: If Edward Snowden were open to plea, we’d talk
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2014, 09:35:23 AM »
Anyone who would trust Obama and especially Holder to keep their word about anything is crazy.

I think they are just trying to lure him back for another Osama bin Laden moment. Just so they can say, "We got Snowden!"

I wouldn't trust either of those guys no matter what they say, or agree to, and especially what they "promise". We all have seen how that works out everytime.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 09:37:14 AM by 240B »
You cannot "COEXIST" with people who want to kill you.

Offline rangerrebew

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Re: Eric Holder: If Edward Snowden were open to plea, we’d talk
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2014, 11:24:59 AM »
Who is less trustworthy, Holder, Obama, Hitler?
There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.
Public virtue cannot exist in a nation without private, and public virtue is the only foundation of republics. There must be a positive passion for the public good, the public interest, honour, power and glory, established in the minds of the people, or there can be no republican government, nor any real liberty: and this public passion must be superior to all private passions. John Adams

Offline flowers

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Re: Eric Holder: If Edward Snowden were open to plea, we’d talk
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2014, 02:47:48 PM »
First of all Snowden is the wrong color for Holder to want to help him. Second Holder is a liar. Once they get a hold of Snowden it would be over for him one way or another.



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