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But we begin this Friday night -- breaking news federal prosecutors have now charged kids Snowden.
-- Snowden is the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked documents about top secret surveillance programs.
He's also facing charges of theft and conversion of government property.
The leak sparked national and international debates about the secret powers of the NSA to infringe on the privacy of both Americans and foreigners.
Our chief judicial analyst judge entered a -- -- -- on the line with us now -- does this come as a surprise to you.
No it doesn't come as a surprise at all ship -- it necessary for the government.
In order to to start extradition wherever ears he may still be in Hong Kong -- in May -- in another country.
To have criminal charges filed these are preliminary criminal charges.
This is not a grand jury indictment.
But this is sufficient to start the ball rolling to authorize.
Agents of the country whatever countries -- to arrest -- and begin the process of getting back here.
As it always does when the government veil of secrecy is lifted in some way.
The government is screaming that that he has caused problems and endangered lives in this country while.
The other side seems to say it's about time we knew what they -- the government's doing to us what your position here.
Well my own view is that he's done the right thing.
But exposing to the American public that it's popularly elected government has been spying on nearly every voter and every person in the country.
Your -- for him is whether -- not a court will permit him to make kids make that argument which is essentially a moral and constitutional.
It's not illegal defense is essentially admitted to having done what the government has charged -- But he wants to be able to tell a jury of and I'm guessing -- -- obviously haven't spoken let them.
You want to be able to tell a jury that he served hire good which was his oath to uphold the constitution.
And for that -- eager to -- -- The question is will the judge -- -- case assigned to permit him to make that argument.
Judge that this is obviously breaking in on short notice in the -- -- espionage what can happen to him.
Well but at espionage at -- -- -- -- basic charge that basically means.
Doing something to talk to help of the country's enemies.
It's not trees and so we can't get the death penalty but he could serve a life sentence depending upon the harm.
That the government can show he caused the country.
-- helped the government can show you provided to the country's enemies this is there's a high bar for the government to meet.
But apparently -- say it's going to attempt to do so.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Jennifer what are you know.
Well what we know is that US officials have told our Ed Henry over at the White House.
That in fact federal prosecutors have filed a sealed criminal complaint against an -- leaker Edwards snowed in the US is going to.
-- asking Chris noted to be detained on a provisional arrest warrant.
This is -- first step in requesting extradition from Hong Kong as the judge was it just.
Describing Snowden was charged as we've learned with espionage -- conversion of government property.
And what we do know is that the case has been sealed in the eastern district court of Virginia and that's important because.
That's where his employer Booz Allen is located it's also acorn that has dealt with a lot of national security cases over the -- so.
It will be very interesting to see if -- Hong Kong government which again we'll have to get permission from China and if I understand correctly.
Whether they will proceed with an extradition.
Of Edwards noted if in fact they know where he's located this time kept.
You know we've been led to believe Jennifer that more leaks are coming that we're going to learn more about how the government operates but in the shadows what what what's your sense of thanks here.
Well it's very interesting that today there was another.
-- leak presumably from snowed -- too because it appeared in both the Washington Post and the guardian newspaper which has been his outlet.
Up until now that classified.
Document dealt with the NSA's rules four.
For listening in on Americans.
Telephone conversations and email communications.
Overseas with foreigners it it raise certain -- interesting issues that.
Until now had been discussed but we have not seen in black and white so.
Edwards noted has said repeatedly bit more leaks are coming -- and and so -- it's there's a little bit of a cat and mouse game at this point in time.
That judge apology I don't know if more leaks come could more charges come.
Yes absolutely -- It if it would be it would be more counts the most in charge.
But the charter of the espionage but there would be X accounts have them depending upon how many leaks.
I'm an -- sort government says -- -- -- -- how many weeks he admits to.
Jennifer he has indicated that he had access or could get access.
To just about anyone's any thing he said even the president.
Well you know I've had a I had a very interesting conversation today with.
Somebody that's -- top security clearance in the government who.
Works closely with the NSA.
And he I'm told that in fact those are exaggerations that Edwards noted.
Could not have done that the way this works Jack is that there are six levels of top security clearance and each program.
Even if you have the top security clearance it's divided into six groups.
Even if you have that the clearance you're only read on to certain programs so Edwards noted has been exaggerating to some degree.
About that access that he would have had.
Given his -- level of security clearance and that is what has made.
Made US officials and people we've heard this from congressman.
Mike Rogers who heads the Intel committee and the house that they are concerned.
That he was not working alone and that he may in fact.
Have some connections to the Chinese Government may have been spying for a foreign entity and that's -- way you might be seeing these espionage charges.
-- judge it was that that very chairman Mike Rogers.
Who was questioning.
The government witness about exactly what these.
Information that they have derived from.
From terrorists sources exactly what they've been able to accomplish and so far the examples they put up there including this potential plot to bomb that bomb the New York Stock Exchange.
They don't -- credible.
Governments arguments thus far.
Two of the year congressional committees before home very high ranking government officials -- testified.
That turned out to be weak contradicted -- some of the government's own evidence.
Two months ago -- older that you senator Wyden that the government was not in fact gap earning a large amounts of information about American country are true.
General Alexander just two or three days ago.
Congressman Rogers have a -- -- of -- you spoke.
One congressman -- said to him.
Does the NSA eight have the ability.
To listen to -- -- he responded no we don't have the authority to do so now of course.
A lot of people in the media including you and meet jumped on the app because it was not truthful and accurate -- -- to the question.
And congressman Rogers himself a former FBI agent did not follow up on -- perhaps he was happy with the impression that the general left.
But the impression -- not a -- also want.
In fact the government according to NSA spokesman whom Fox News has spoken former an -- folks have the ability.
The list and -- Armstrong court the question is will they do so well they respect the constitution.
Yes it is a very good question just -- Tyler Jennifer Griffin more on these new charges.
Against -- snow in the NSA leaker as they come in during this hour but first a.
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