Meet the Press   |  January 26, 2014

Snowden's Legal Advocate Discusses Potential for Clemency

Jesselyn Radack, an advocate for NSA leaker Edward Snowden, discusses allegations of Russian spying and what lies ahead for the expatriate.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> head of the criminal coming up here, what's in store for edward snowden . we go live to moscow up next. here's today's question.

>>> we're back. now to the debate over edward snowden . attorney general eric holder now says he would be willing to discuss a deal for him to return to the united states but no clemency. so is snowden willing to talk? i'm joined by unwith of snowden 's legal advisors jesselyn radack , the national security and human rights he director of the government accountability project . with me here is the former head of u.s. homeland security , form arer head of the criminal division of the justice department michael chertoff . miss radack, welcome. we've got a bit of a clay on the satellite. i want to play a bit of eric holder 's interview on msnbc and get your reaction to it. listen.

>> clemency, a simple you know no harm-no foul, i think that would be going too far. but in the resolution of this matter, with an acceptance of responsibility, you know, we would always, you know, engage in those kinds of conversations.

>> so miss radack, what about mr. snowden ? does he want to enter into those conversations?

>> sure. we're always glad to entertain conversations, and we're glad that holder made that statement. it's a little disheartening that he seemed to take clemency and amnesty off the table which are two negotiating points. but again, none of us have been contacted yet about restarting negotiations. and also i think that no harm-no foul is not apt. i mean, there has been plenty of suffering on the part of edward snowden . he's been punished quite a bit already. and while we are glad to dialogue be an negotiate, he's not going to come back and face an espionage prosecution.

>> what's the punishment he's endured?

>> he's endured having to basically give up his entire life and be rendered stateless by the united states government . revoking his passport while he was here in russia. he has been granted political asylum by four different countries because they all found that he had a valid fear of political persecution based on the very espionage act charges that he's facing in the u.s.

>> on this program as you know, last week the head of the intelligence committee mike rogers suggested that he had help from the russians, might even be a russian spy . how does he respond to that? and does he think that's part of some effort to smear him?

>> it's obviously part of a smear effort. it shows to me that the government is getting really desperate. the evidence against nsa continues to mount. most recently with privacy and civil liberties oversight. ford which he can heed a judge and the white house 's own recommendations that the surveillance program is illegal and ineffective. and so then the spy allegation resurrected itself again and unfortunately, dianne feinstein and mike rogers had a platform to smear the whistleblower with faceless innuendo without a scintilla of evidence to back up their allegation. moreover, mr. snowden went publicly chatted with the u.s. this week to deny being a spy. but if people don't want to take my word for it or mr. snowden 's word for it, you can ask the fbi which decided and still believes that he acted alone.

>> all right. jesselyn radack in moscow for us today. thank you very much for being here. i appreciate your time.