- The Washington Times - Friday, June 28, 2013

The father of suspected National Security Agency leaker Edward J. Snowden is seeking a deal with the Justice Department that would allow his son to remain free prior to a trial in exchange for his surrender to face espionage charges.

It also requests that the younger Mr. Snowden would not be subject to a gag order and that he be allowed to pick the venue of his trial, and says that if any of the agreements were violated the case would be dropped.

Mr. Snowden’s father, Lon, made the proposal in a letter sent to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. The Justice Department said it has received the letter, written by well-known Washington attorney Bruce Fein, and is still considering its response.

Mr. Snowden is reasonably confident that his son would voluntarily return to the United States if there were ironclad assurances that his constitutional rights would be honored, and he were provided a fair opportunity to explain his motivations and actions to an impartial judge and jury in the above-referenced prosecution,” according to the letter, obtained by The Washington Times.

Mr. Snowden, who left Hong Kong for Russia last weekend, has become an embarrassment for the Obama administration after he leaked details of massive classified government surveillance programs of telephone and Internet communications.

A person familiar with the proposal said Mr. Fein released the information without notifying Lon Snowden.

The letter itself, let alone its release, is considered odd by attorneys who have held high positions in the administrations of former Republican presidents. They say it makes it difficult for the government to accept terms that would normally be negotiated in the utmost privacy and secrecy.

Lon Snowden, a decorated military officer who retired in 2009, is focused on bringing his son home safely. He said he thinks his son, an NSA contractor, revealed government programs that monitor emails and phone calls of Americans because he felt they violated the constitutional rights of ordinary Americans.

Edward Snowden fled to Hong Kong and is now in Russia as he seeks asylum in Ecuador.

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