Hillary Clinton: Snowden has right to public defense
July 4th, 2014
01:04 PM ET
2 months ago

Hillary Clinton: Snowden has right to public defense

(CNN) - Hillary Clinton said Friday NSA leaker Edward Snowden should be able to defend himself if he returns to the United States.

"In any case that I'm aware of as a former lawyer, he has a right to mount a defense," she told the UK-based Guardian, which published classified documents last year that detailed U.S. surveillance programs and were obtained by Snowden. Clinton is in Europe promoting her new book, "Hard Choices."

"And he certainly has a right to launch both a legal defense and a public defense, which can of course affect the legal defense," Clinton continued.

Snowden was granted temporary asylum in Russia, where he's been living since last June. If he comes back to the U.S., he could face charges of espionage and theft of government property.

"Whether he chooses to return or not is up to him. He certainly can stay in Russia, apparently under Putin's protection, for the rest of his life if that's what he chooses. But if he is serious about engaging in the debate then he could take the opportunity to come back and have that debate," she said. "But that's his decision."

Bill Clinton on Snowden: An 'imperfect messenger'

Snowden told NBC News in May that he considers himself a patriot and felt that he was doing due diligence by unveiling the agency's spy secrets. He said he would eventually like to return to the United States.

"If I could go anywhere in the world, that place would be home," he said in the interview.

Clinton has been critical about Snowden in the past.

"His leaks revealed some of America's most sensitive classified intelligence programs," Clinton wrote in her new book, "Hard Choices."

After a few paragraphs, though, Clinton finds herself somewhere between liberty and security and without answering a number of those questions on domestic surveillance.

"With liberty and security, it's not that the more you have of one, the less you have of the other. In fact I believe they make each other possible," Clinton concludes. "Without security, liberty is fragile. Without liberty, security is oppressive. The challenge is finding the proper measure: enough security to safeguard our freedoms, but not so much (or so little) as to endanger them."

CNN's Dan Merica contributed to this report.


Filed under: Edward Snowden • Hillary Clinton • NSA
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Chris..E.al

    Its the 4 of july give that lie a rest please . Thank you

    July 4, 2014 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  2. Tony D

    Hillary Clinton said Friday NSA leaker Edward Snowden should be able to defend himself if he returns to the United States.
    ---

    Thank you for these very profound statements Captain Obvious! Come on Hillary, you are really coming off as totally lame these days with these totally ridiculous statements.

    July 4, 2014 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  3. just asking

    After a few paragraphs, though, Clinton finds herself somewhere between liberty and security and without answering a number of those questions on domestic surveillance.
    "With liberty and security, it's not that the more you have of one, the less you have of the other. In fact I believe they make each other possible," Clinton concludes. "Without security, liberty is fragile. Without liberty, security is oppressive. The challenge is finding the proper measure: enough security to safeguard our freedoms, but not so much (or so little) as to endanger them."
    --

    and all this means she stands where on this? talk about meaningless psycho babble. take a position so people know where you stand. these statements are pure drivel.

    July 4, 2014 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  4. Say WHAT???

    "Without liberty, security is oppressive."
    --

    Huh??? More like "With oppressive security, there is no liberty". And that is exactly what many feel we have now as the government knows and tracks our every move, email, phone call.

    July 4, 2014 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  5. Chris..E.al

    Snowden is a sorry anti american spy.

    July 4, 2014 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  6. it must be said

    I guess Hillary gave up trying to push her crappy book in the USA and is now trying to sell it to koolaide drinkers abroad. I doubt it will work. This dumb publisher is going to take a major bath on the $14,000,000 advance to Hillary! But it will be comforting to know poor, poor Hillary will be able to pay for her mansions now.

    July 4, 2014 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  7. ED1

    Really he committed treason that's another reason we don't need you as President after all these years you still don't have a clue about National Security or much of anything else sorry you will not get my vote even if Obama was running against you.

    July 4, 2014 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  8. NameFrank Deery

    I think, for once, Bill Maher was right: "Hillary! Just go away!"

    With more Obama and Bill Clinton baggage to tote than the Queen of Sheba, plus her own, her future is babysitting! Enjoy!

    July 4, 2014 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |