John Kerry misunderstands how Espionage Act prosecutions work

Julian —  2. June 2014 — 2 Comments

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Snowden unlikely to ‘man up’ in face of Espionage Act, legal adviser says

In a television appearance on Wednesday morning, Kerry said that if Snowden were a “patriot”, he would return to the United States from Russia to face criminal charges. Snowden was charged last June with three felonies under the 1917 Espionage Act. “This is a man who has betrayed his country,” Kerry told CBS News. “He should man up and come back to the US.”

But

“The laws under which Snowden is charged don’t distinguish between sharing information with the press in the public interest, and selling secrets to a foreign enemy,” Wizner said. “The laws would not provide him any opportunity to say that the information never should have been withheld from the public in the first place. And the fact that the disclosures have led to the highest journalism rewards, have led to historic reforms in the US and around the world – all of that would be irrelevant in a prosecution under the espionage laws in the United States.”

(Picture CC from AK Rockefeller)

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