U.S. authorities appear to be taking the next steps in attempting to prosecute WikiLeaks architect Julian Assange.
CNN reports that the United States has prepared charges to seek Assange’s arrest. The Justice Department during Obama’s administration did not pursue charges against WikiLeaks for revealing sensitive information. President Donald Trump’s attitude towards WikiLeaks (and leaks in general) has been somewhat malleable depending on the situation at hand.
At present, Assange is presently attempting to avoid rape charges by staying within the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Even with his holed up state, Assange has still been a somewhat public figure. He’s had the attention of the Justice Department since 2010 courtesy of the posting of documents related to the war in Iraq. The dynamics of the First Amendment had been a stumbling point previously in the prospect of the U.S. prosecuting Assange, but there is now the belief that prosecutors will be be working around the element.
Earlier this month, CIA Chief Mike Pompeo publicly slammed WikiLeaks. He described the organization as a “hostile intelligence service” abetted by Russia.
“It is time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is … a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia. In January of this year, our Intelligence Community determined that Russian military intelligence — the GRU — had used WikiLeaks to release data of U.S. victims that the GRU had obtained through cyber operations against the Democratic National Committee. And the report also found that Russia’s primary propaganda outlet, RT, has actively collaborated with WikiLeaks.”
Assange’s lawyer Barry Pollack says his client has not been contacted by the Department of Justice and that there have been no indications of charges Assange.