TODAY   |  June 24, 2013

Expert: Snowden may be carrying more info to leak

On Sunday, the NSA leaker arrived in Moscow, a stop on his reported path to seeking asylum in Ecuador, by way of Cuba. But journalists aboard an early Monday flight to Havana said Snowden failed to board the plane before it took off.

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>> michael. good morning to you.

>> good morning savannah.

>> after midnight last night they urged russia to hook at any options to expel snowden from it's boarders noted that the u.s. returned, quote, numerous high level criminals to russia at the request of the russian government . what are the chances russia actually cooperate with the u.s.?

>> this is very much a political question . it's less whether they have the legal authority to do it and whether or not president putin actually wants to use his muscle, which he obviously can do through a variety of names to send him back to the united states . he has been stripped of his u.s. pass port is one option. we can also send a provisional arrest warrant . my guess is the reason he's not on that plane is the russians do want to consider whether this is the right path to let him leave their airport there.

>> meantime, hong kong of course said that the u.s. botched the paperwork that would have lead to the arrest of snowden in hong kong . any doubt in your mind that hong kong or the chinese authorities decided to simply wash their hands of edward snowden .

>> i'm smiling because there's no doubt. this is not about a legal document not having the right ts crossed and is dotted. the hong kong authorities had several tunlts to stop him either through the arrest warrant or stopping him from travel because his u.s. passport was no longer valid. hong kong nor the government in bejing, neither wanted to be a player in this and the easiest way was to let him travel to moscow.

>> he appears to be on a tour of countries that are adverse to the united states . do you think the chinese or russian authorities will get a look at what he is carrying with him as we just reported? laptops, thumb drives? and do you think ultimately the u.s. can get him back?

>> it's difficult to know if the chinese have already seen some of it? my guess is that the russians and chinese may not want to get that involved. in that sense, they may not have access to that data. it's more likely that they turn him over but regardless of where he ends up, my expectation is that the classified information he has will ultimately be released. this is like the movies, there's some other hard drive out there he has given to other people. i will be surprised that even if we get him back to the united states that information isn't ultimately made public.

>> and finally, michael, other than the diplomatic and political channels we have discussed this morning, are there other unorthodoxed ways to pick up somebody like snowden and do you think the obama administration would use them?

>> savannah the option there would be known as rendition. that would be using an organization like the cia to go in and take him and bring him back to the united states . we have done that in the past, we have fundamentally never done that without some explicit or impolii implicit by the government.