In January 2014, Attorney General Eric Holder said he’d be happy to negotiate with Edward Snowden about allowing him to return to the U.S., as long as he was ready to plead guilty to something. On Monday, Holder softened his tone a bit, telling Yahoo News that “we are in a different place as a result of the Snowden disclosures” and “his actions spurred a necessary debate.” When asked if the Justice Department might cut a deal with the NSA leaker, Holder said, “I certainly think there could be a basis for a resolution that everybody could ultimately be satisfied with. I think the possibility exists.”
No Obama administration official has made such a generous assessment of Snowden’s actions, but Holder’s remarks don’t really matter since he stepped down in April and is now a private attorney. None of the 2016 candidates bothered to weigh in, except Jeb Bush, who spotted another opportunity to emphasize that while he’s not his brother, he’s a huge fan of NSA surveillance.
Snowden broke the law, recklessly endangered nat’l security, & fled to China/Russia. He should be given no leniency https://t.co/9RHNGsHZnx— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) July 7, 2015
Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who helped make Snowden’s earliest disclosures public, said that actually reminds him of someone else:
He’s not asking for “leniency,” & other than the “China/Russia” part, this comment applies more to your brother… https://t.co/pnq2o0a2kU— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) July 7, 2015