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Eric Holder letter in re: Edward Snowden

Eric Holder letter in re: Edward Snowden

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Published by Philip Bump
Sent to Holder's Russian counterpart.
Sent to Holder's Russian counterpart.

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Published by: Philip Bump on Jul 26, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/14/2013

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text

original

 
Qj)ffice
of
t~e
.!Hornet!
~eneral
llllas
4ingtttn.E.
QT.
20.5.30
July
23,
2013
His Excellency Alexander Vladimirovich KonovalovMinister
of
JusticeThe Russian Federation
14
ZhitnayaUlitsaMoscow 119991RussiaDear Mr. Minister:I am writing concerning the current status
of
Edward Snowden. As you know, Mr.Snowdenhas been charged with theft
of
government property (in violation
of
Title 18, UnitedStates Code, Section
641 ),
unauthorized communication
of
national defense information (inviolation
ofTitle
18, United States Code, Section 793(d)), and willful communication
of
classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person (in violation
of
Title 18, United States Code, Section 798(a)(3)). According to news reports and informationprovided by your government, Mr. Snowden is currently in the transit zone
of
the SheremetyevoAirport.We understand from press reports and prior conversations between our governments thatMr. Snowden believes that he is unable to travel out
of
Russia and must therefore take steps tolegalize his status. That is not accurate; he is able to travel. Despite the revocation
of
hispassport on June 22, 2013, Mr. Snowden remains a U.S. citizen. He is eligible for a limitedvaliditypassport good for direct return to the United States. The United States is willing toimmediately issue such a passport to Mr. Snowden.We also understand from press reports that Mr. Snowden has filed papers seekingtemporary asylum in Russia on the grounds that
if
he were returned to the United States, hewould be tortured and would face the death penalty. These claims are entirely withoutmerit. Nonetheless, I can report that the United States is prepared to provide to the Russiangovernment the following assurances regarding the treatment Mr. Snowden would face uponreturn to the United States:First, the United States would not seek the death penalty for Mr. Snowden should hereturn to the United States. The charges he faces do not carry that possibility, and the UnitedStates would not seek the death penalty even
if
Mr. Snowden were charged with additional,death penalty-eligible crimes.

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