A “possibility exists” for National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden to someday leave asylum in Russia and return to the U.S., former Attorney General Eric Holder said in an interview with Yahoo News published Monday.
Snowden’s been living in Russia since 2013, when he leaked a stream of classified federal government documents that exposed surveillance activities by the NSA. His disclosures sparked heated discussions over the role of private companies in government surveillance and the scope of such surveillance.
The U.S. has revoked Snowden’s passport; Holder filed a criminal complaint against Snowden in June as well.
“We are in a different place as a result of the Snowden disclosures,” Holder said in the interview. The revelations spurred important debates and discussions, he added.
However, the chief spokeswoman for the current Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, has already shot down Holder’s suggestion that the Department of Justice could offer Snowden a pathway back to the U.S. “This is an ongoing case so I am not going to get into specific details but I can say our position regarding bringing Edward Snowden back to the United States to face charges has not changed,” the spokeswoman said in an email to Yahoo News.