The father of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden has offered federal officials a deal that he believes would convince his son to return to the United States.
Lonnie Snowden, in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, said that his son, who leaked information about American Internet and phone surveillance programs, would likely return to the United States if he could remain free prior to trial, not be subjected to a gag order and allowed to choose the location for his court case.
“With these written representations and guarantee, Mr. Snowden is reasonably confident that his son could be persuaded to surrender voluntarily to the jurisdiction of the United States to face trial,” Bruce Fein, a lawyer for Lonnie Snowden, wrote in a letter first obtained by CNN.
Snowden faces a trio of espionage charges that each carries a maximum of up to 10 years in prison.
Under the proposed deal, Snowden would be released if any terms of the agreement were breached.
However, the Justice Department is highly unlikely to agree to such demands. The department has not publicly responded to the proposal.
Snowden is hiding out at an airport in Moscow, as Russian President Vladimir Putin refuses to extradite the ex-CIA official back to the United States. Snowden is seeking asylum in Ecuador, a nation that has traditionally honored similar requests.
Lonnie Snowden said he hasn’t seen his son since the disclosures were made about the NSA collecting phone records of millions of Americans and secretly obtaining troves of Internet data.
“I love him, I would like to have the opportunity to communicate with him,” he said in an interview Friday with NBC News. “I don’t want to put him in peril, but I am concerned about those who surround him.”