What Charges Will Gov't Bring Against NSA Whistleblower?
Megyn Kelly asked Judge Andrew Napolitano what the government's next move will be in the likely prosecution of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The government could go for the most severe charge of treason, though the judge believes that scenario is unlikely. Napolitano explained that the legal bar to proving treason is extremely high and he does not believe Snowden's actions would fall into this category.
"Treason is the only crime for which the government can seek a death penalty where the defendant hasn't caused a death with his own hands. There's only been seven successful treason prosecutions in the history of the United States of America, and they usually involve treason at the height of wartime," he explained.
Napolitano believes Snowden will be charged with espionage, and even that will amount to the government overcharging in the hopes that a plea deal would be worked out. He said, however, that with Snowden out of the country, this case will probably stretch beyond Obama's presidency.
Megyn also asked about the previous testimony by DNI James Clapper, who told the Senate that the NSA does not "wittingly" collect data on American citizens. Both Megyn and the judge were amazed by Clapper's answer in light of what we now know about the NSA's activities. Napolitano says, as a former judge on the bench, he noticed Clapper displayed "classic signs of deception."
"If Hollywood had coached him as to how to appear deceptive, this was a better job than they would have coached him!"