Edward Snowden's father said Sunday a U.S. plea deal isn't an option for his fugitive son, who recently took asylum in Russia after leaking intelligence information from the National Security Agency.
"I'm not open to it," Lon Snowden said on ABC's "This Week." "At this point, what I would like is for this to be vetted in open court for the American people to have all the facts. What I've seen is much political theater."
Attorney Bruce Fein, also appearing on the show, said he and Lon Snowden have set the date for traveling to Russia to meet with the 30-year-old Edward Snowden and discuss a criminal-defense strategy. When television host George Stephanopoulos said Edward Snowden appeared to have broken the law, Fein shot back and said it is "simply irresponsible" to assume that.
"It may well be that what he disclosed is protected by the First Amendment," Fein said.
Lon Snowden said he was "disappointed" in the remarks President Barack Obama made at last week's press conference, specifically that his son is not a patriot.
"My son has spoken the truth," Lon Snowden said. "He has sacrificed more than either the president of the United States or [New York GOP Rep.] Peter King have ever. How they choose to characterize him really doesn't carry much weight with me."
"At this point, when you consider many of the statements made by our leaders…they are absolutely irresponsible and inconsistent with our system of justice," he continued. "They have poisoned the well, so to speak, in terms of a potential jury pool."
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