Edward Snowden could use a trial to showcase spy claims

Associated Press Posted online: Tuesday, Jan 21, 2014 at 0000 hrs
Washington : Should Edward Snowden ever return to the US, he would face criminal charges for leaking information about National Security Agency surveillance programs.

But legal experts say a trial could expose more classified information as his lawyers try to build a case in open court that the operations he exposed were illegal.

A jury trial could be awkward for the Obama administration if the jurors believe Snowden is a whistle-blower who exposed government overreach.

Snowden surely would try to turn the tables on the government, arguing that its right to keep information secret doesn't outweigh his constitutional right to speak out.

Administration officials say the possibility of a public spectacle where Snowden tries to reveal even more classified information to make his case has not lessened the intent to prosecute him.