"The thing we have been most concerned about is that the people who have influence over Ed will try to use him for their own means," Mattie Fein, the wife and spokeswoman of Lon Snowden's attorney, told WSJ. "These guys have their own agenda here and we aren't so sure that it has Ed's best interest in mind."
She is referring to Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.
WikiLeaks, which facilitated Snowden's travel from Hong Kong to Moscow and provided him with Assange's closest advisor, has been championing Snowden's cause while raising money for Mr. Snowden while also selling Edward Snowden merchandise such as T-shirts and coffee mugs.
Fein told the WSJ that a U.S. TV producer called her and told her that Greenwald had been "shopping around an exclusive interview with Mr. Snowden for seven figures."
Greenwald called the accusation "defamatory" but did tell the WSJ that he had a discussion with NBC about conducting an interview with Snowden and licensing it to them for $50,000.
The American reporter added that Lon Snowden's lawyers "have no connection to Ed" because Snowden "is making all his own choices about who he deals with and who represents him."
Those last two claims are at least questionable.
On June 23, after the U.S. voided his passport while he was in Hong Kong, Snowden boarded a plane to Moscow, where a radio host in Moscow "saw about 20 Russian officials, supposedly FSB (i.e. Russian intelligence) agents, in suits, crowding around somebody in a restricted area of the airport."Since then Snowden's stay in Russia has been shrouded in mystery while his legal representation has been Anatoly Kucherena, who is linked to the FSB.
A person close to the situation told the WSJ that Lon Snowden recently spoke with his son over encrypted chat, despite his lawyers advising against it because Kucherena is on vacation.
"For starters, we don't really know who this guy is on the other end," the person said (emphasis ours). "Everything we have done has been through Kucherena because Ed's safety is in the hands of the Russians right now and that's not something we felt was appropriate to do while he was away."