Glenn Greenwald To Jeffrey Toobin: NSA Ruling Vindicates Edward Snowden

Glenn Greenwald and Jeffrey Toobin went head-to-head on Monday's "AC360," debating whether Edward Snowden was right to expose secret NSA surveillance programs.

A federal judge ruled Monday that the NSA's surveillance of Americans' cell phone records — a secret program that Snowden revealed to Greenwald — is likely illegal. Snowden, who fled to Russia to escape the reaches of the American government and is still seeking permanent asylum, praised the ruling in a statement.

"How could it not vindicate him?" Greenwald said about the ruling on Monday night. "I think it's not only the right but the duty in Edward Snowden's situation to come forward at great risk to himself and inform his fellow citizens about what it is that their government is doing in the dark that is illegal."

Toobin, who has been a vocal critic of Snowden, disagreed. The CNN analyst acknowledged that the ruling was a "big victory" for Snowden, but added, "I don't support what Snowden at all. I don't think this vindicates him, but it certainly comes a lot closer to vindicating him than anything else has."

Toobin also argued that Snowden was wrong to go to Greenwald with classified information, saying, "Giving the documents to Glenn Greenwald is not an orderly or fair or ultimately responsible way to run a government."

Greenwald responded, saying that much of the most important work done by journalists in recent memory have been the result of whistleblowers approaching reporters. Watch their debate in the clip above.