(The Hill) Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday said granting clemency to former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden “would be going to far.”

However, Holder told NBC News the government would be willing to “engage in conversations” about a resolution to his leak of thousands of classified NSA documents if Snowden accepted responsibility.

Holder continued to call Snowden a “defendant,” saying that was “the most apt title.”

The attorney general has addressed the issue before. In an interview with USA Today last November, he said there was “no basis” for clemency. In a letter he sent to the Russian government last July, he made assurances that Snowden would receive the full protection of U.S. laws and authorities would not seek the death penalty against him upon his return.

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