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Snowden's Father to Visit Son in Russia

Father of NSA leaker attacks politicians for "irresponsible comments," claims his son will not receive a fair trial in the US.
By Ari Soffer
First Publish: 8/12/2013, 10:07 AM

Edward Snowden
Edward Snowden
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The father of Edward Snowden - a former NSA employee who leaked classified information - has reportedly received documents to visit his son in Russia, where he successfully claimed asylum, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Lon Snowden told ABC News he was looking forward to visiting his son, and said that they would consider options to allow him to return to the US, assuming he is guaranteed a fair trial.

"As a father, I want my son to come home if I believe that the justice system…is going to be applied correctly," he said, but added that he did not think that would happen given what he termed the "irresponsible" comments by US President Barack Obama, and politicians from across the political spectrum.

On Friday, during a press conference, Barack Obama weighed in on the controversy, saying "I don't think Mr. Snowden was a patriot."

"They have poisoned the well, so to speak, in terms of a potential jury pool," Snowden continued.

 His attorney, Bruce Fein, claims that he has not been allowed to speak to the younger Snowden since he fled the US, but said that when he does finally speak to him, he plans to "suggest criminal defense attorneys who've got experience with criminal Espionage Act prosecutions," adding that the trip to Russia would happen "very soon."

Edward Snowden is a former intelligence worker for both the National Security Agency (NSA) and the CIA. In June, he leaked classified information to the Guardian and Washington Post pertaining to alleged NSA eavesdropping on telephone calls and emails of private citizens, and the collection of millions of pieces of data about private American citizens.

His father says he is confident that the "political outrage" would soon calm down, and that most US citizens were actually supportive of his son's actions:

"The American people are absolutely unhappy with what they've learned," he said, "and more is going to be forthcoming."

After fleeing his home in Hawaii, Snowden arrived in Moscow airport, viaHong Kong. After staying in the airport for more than a month, on 1st August the Russian government decided to grant him political asylum, much to the fury of the US government, which challenged that Snowden's actions had severely damaged national security.

Last week, tensions between Russia and US - which have already been strained due to their opposing stances on the Syrian civil war - increased further as US President Obama cancelled a planned G20 meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.