Washington, June 1 (RHC)-- Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder says that NSA whistleblower performed a "public service" in provoking a national debate about secret domestic surveillance programs, but he should still return to the U.S. to stand trial.
Eric Holder told reporters in Washington that as a National Security Agency contractor, Ed Snowden leaked classified details in 2013 of the U.S. government's warrantless surveillance of its citizens before fleeing the country. He now lives in Russia and faces U.S. charges that could land him in prison for up to 30 years.
The former top U.S. attorney claimed Snowden's leaks harmed American interests abroad and put intelligence assets at risk. He said Snowden should return to the United States, surrender to authorities and face the consequences of his crimes by going to prison.
Ed Snowden has repeatedly said he would be willing to return to the United States if the federal government would provide him a fair trial. However, Snowden says he is concerned that under federal espionage laws he would not allow him to present a whistleblower defense, arguing in court he acted in the public interest.
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