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How would those emails exonerate him?
ok. not exonerate him entirely, but provide evidence that he did try to raise the dodgy dealings with his superiors, which would go some way in his defence.
Maybe he his waiting for another sucker punch. Drop a hint that he sent a number of emails, knowing that the NSA will deny this, then, BAM, provide the emails after they deny their existence, exposing them once again as crooked. The NSA are stupid enough to fall into this kind of trap. I mean, they had no idea that he attended conferences and was looking to out them.