Tags: Edward Snowden | Eric Holder | Edward Snowden | NSA | David Axelrod

Holder: Snowden Leaks a 'Public Service' But He Should Still Be Punished

Image: Holder: Snowden Leaks a 'Public Service' But He Should Still Be Punished
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By    |   Monday, 30 May 2016 12:51 PM

NSA leaker Edward Snowden performed a valuable "public service" by leaking classified intelligence documents, but the way he did it was "inappropriate and illegal" and he should come back to the United States to face justice, former Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday.

"We can certainly argue about the way in which Snowden did what he did, but I think that he actually performed a public service by raising the debate that we engaged in and by the changes that we made," Holder told fellow former Obama administration official David Axelrod, now a CNN correspondent, on "The Axe Files," produced by CNN and the University of Chicago Institute of Politics. 

However, Holder continued that Snowden "harmed American interests" by leaking the documents, and he knows there "are ways in which certain of our agents were put at risk, relationships with other countries were harmed, our ability to keep the American people safe was compromised."

Snowden has remained in Russia under asylum for some time, but Holder said last year that the former contractor may be able to come home and make a deal that would allow him to stay out of prison, reports The Hill.  

However, the Justice Department itself has not mentioned a deal for Snowden, and Holder on Monday said that when a judge is working out an appropriate sentence, he or she could "take into account the usefulness of having had that national debate."

Snowden has said he'd be willing to come back to the United States if the government will give him a fair trial, reports The Hill, and on Monday, he tweeted out a link to Axelrod's interview:
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NSA leaker Edward Snowden performed a valuable "public service" by leaking classified intelligence documents, but the way he did it was "inappropriate and illegal" and he should come back to the United States to face justice, former Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday.
Eric Holder, Edward Snowden, NSA, David Axelrod
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2016-51-30
Monday, 30 May 2016 12:51 PM
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