U.S. in talks with Snowden reps for plea deal

U.S. in talks with Snowden reps for plea deal

[Ed. – Life in Putin’s Paradise getting a little squidgy around the edges, there?  Important question: will there be a bearded man and a woman in a sleeveless sheath to grace the White House ceremony announcing Snowden’s ignominious return?]

Federal prosecutors recently held discussions with representatives of renegade National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden on a possible deal involving his return to the United States to face charges of stealing more than a million secret NSA documents, according to U.S. officials.

Snowden is currently in Moscow under Russian government protection after fleeing Hawaii, where he worked in NSA’s Kunia facility, for Hong Kong in May 2013. U.S. officials have charged him with stealing an estimated 1.7 million documents from NSA Net and the Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System (JWICS) and providing some materials to news outlets.

Discussions on Snowden’s return were held in the past several weeks between prosecutors in the Justice Department’s National Security Division and Plato Cacheris, a long-time Washington defense lawyer who in the past represented several U.S. spies, including some who reached plea bargains rather than go to trial. …

[T]he talks focused on a plea deal that would result in Snowden returning to the United States to face lesser charges in exchange for returning the large cache of secret documents, said officials familiar with some aspects of the talks. …

NSA Director Michael Rogers said last week he doubted a deal with Snowden for the return of documents could be worked out.

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