Obama may have accidentally written Snowden’s defense
Trevor Timm is a legal expert and surveillance activist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and is skeptical that Obama’s comments would alter the course of a trial — in part because executive branch attorneys would likely contend that his comments should be inadmissible; in part because the question before the court wouldn’t turn on the value of the leaks; and in part because courts have been unfriendly to leakers.
“[T]hey would probably argue that the president’s statements are hearsay, since he wasn’t making them in court,” Timm says. “All they need to prove is that he had reason to believe the information may be harmful. The idea that his leaks have value doesn’t really ever — judges have generally disallowed that.”