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Jeb Bush: Snowden Should be Given No Leniency

Jeb Bush
Jeb Bush / AP
• July 7, 2015 10:22 am

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Jeb Bush said Tuesday that he was infuriated by the possibility of a plea bargain for Edward Snowden that would allow the former government contractor to return to the United States from Moscow.

The 2016 Republican presidential candidate tweeted that Snowden, "should be given no leniency" for his actions.

On Monday, former Attorney General Eric Holder told Yahoo that the United States benefited from Snowden’s leak of classified documents, and that a consensus could be reached on a plea deal.

"We are in a different place as a result of the Snowden disclosures," Holder said. "His actions spurred a necessary debate. I certainly think there could be a basis for a resolution that everybody could ultimately be satisfied with—I think the possibility exists."

Several others have spoken out about the potential plea deal. Michael Hayden, former NSA and CIA director during the George W. Bush administration, told Yahoo he was appalled by the idea and believes Snowden should return to criminal charges.

What Snowden did "was the greatest hemorrhaging of legitimate American secrets in the history of the republic, no question about it," Hayden said. "I’m quite stunned that we would be considering any return of Snowden to this country other than to meet a jury of his peers, period."

Published under: Edward Snowden, Eric Holder, Jeb Bush