Possible Snowden Plea Deal DevelopingPosted: June 10, 2014
For Washington Free Beacon, Bill Gertz reports: Federal prosecutors recently held discussions with representatives of renegade National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden on a possible deal involving his return to the United States to face charges of stealing more than a million secret NSA documents, according to U.S. officials.
“It remains our position that Mr. Snowden should return to the United States and face the charges filed against him…”
Snowden is currently in Moscow under Russian government protection after fleeing Hawaii, where he worked in NSA’s Kunia facility, for Hong Kong in May 2013. U.S. officials have charged him with stealing an estimated 1.7 million documents from NSA Net and the Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System (JWICS) and providing some materials to news outlets.
“…If he does, he will be accorded full due process and protections.”
— D.O.J. Spokesman Marc Raimondi
Discussions on Snowden’s return were held in the past several weeks between prosecutors in the Justice Department’s National Security Division and Plato Cacheris, a long-time Washington defense lawyer who in the past represented several U.S. spies, including some who reached plea bargains rather than go to trial.
Cacheris declined to comment when asked about the discussions. “There’s nothing to report,” he told the Washington Free Beacon.
No details of the discussions could be learned. But the talks focused on a plea deal that would result in Snowden returning to the United States to face lesser charges in exchange for returning the large cache of secret documents, said officials familiar with some aspects of the talks.
A Justice Department spokesman would not comment directly when asked about discussions on a deal for Snowden.
“It remains our position that Mr. Snowden should return to the United States and face the charges filed against him,” Marc Raimondi told the Free Beacon. “If he does, he will be accorded full due process and protections.”
Snowden was charged with three espionage-related offenses in a criminal complaint unsealed in June 2013. They include theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information, and willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person…(read more)