Former National Security Contractor Edward Snowden on Thursday said that his return to the U.S. would be the “best resolution” for himself and the government, but he said he could not do so unless he were considered a whistleblower under federal law.
“Returning to the US, I think, is the best resolution for the government, the public, and myself, but it’s unfortunately not possible in the face of current whistleblower protection laws, which through a failure in law did not cover national security contractors like myself,” he said during an online chat when CNN anchor Jake Tapper asked under what conditions Snowden would return to the country.
Snowden said that current laws would not ensure him a fair trial.
“The hundred-year old law under which I’ve been charged, which was never intended to be used against people working in the public interest, and forbids a public interest defense,” he said. “This is especially frustrating, because it means there’s no chance to have a fair trial, and no way I can come home and make my case to a jury.”
On Thursday U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said that the U.S. would “engage in conversation” with Snowden if he pled guilty to leaking documents. However, Holder said that granting the former contractor clemency would go “too far.”