Edward Snowden has the right to launch a legal and public defense of his decision to leak top-secret documents if he returns to the U.S., Hillary Clinton said during a video interview with the Guardian on Friday. “In any case that I’m aware of as a former lawyer, he has a right to mount a defense,” Clinton said. “And he certainly has a right to launch both a legal defense and a public defense, which can of course affect the legal defense … Whether he chooses to return or not is up to him. He certainly can stay in Russia, apparently under Putin’s protection, for the rest of his life if that’s what he chooses. But if he is serious about engaging in the debate then he could take the opportunity to come back and have that debate. But that’s his decision.” Snowden is currently charged with three violations of the U.S. Espionage Act, which was passed in 1917. The law makes no distinctions between spies and whistleblowers and affords Snowden almost no recourse to a defense.