The father of former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden said in an interview that while he has not had recent contact with him, he is reasonably confident his son would return to the United States if certain conditions were met.
“At this point I don't feel that he's committed treason. He has in fact broken U.S. law, in a sense that he has released classified information,” Lonnie Snowden told NBC’s Michael Isikoff in an exclusive interview that aired on TODAY. “And if folks want to classify him as a traitor, in fact he has betrayed his government. But I don't believe that he's betrayed the people of the United States."
Snowden said he has told Attorney General Eric Holder through his lawyer that his son will probably return home if the Justice Department promises not to detain him before a trial nor subject him to a gag order. He also wants his son to choose where a trial would take place.
Earlier this week, U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, the New Jersey Democrat who heads the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, promised to block renewal of the pact if Snowden were to receive asylum.
"Our government will not reward countries for bad behavior," he said in a statement.