Russia

Report: Julian Assange Will Soon Be Indicted

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Technically, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has already been indicted, but we weren't suppose to know that.

The indictment against Julian Assange has actually been sealed, but its existent was accidentally revealed by an unrelated court filing.

The revelation was an accident. Prosecutors pursuing an unrelated sex-crimes case, against a man named Seitu Sulayman Kokayi, referenced Assange twice in a filing seeking to keep the complaint against Kokayi under seal.

The complaint, prosecutors wrote in the document, "would need to remain sealed until Assange is arrested in connection with the charges in the criminal complaint and can therefore no longer evade or avoid arrest and extradition in this matter." At a separate point in the document, prosecutors wrote that "due to the sophistication of the defendant and the publicity surrounding the case, no other procedure is likely to keep confidential the fact that Assange has been charged." [...]

The filing was first spotted by Seamus Hughes, a former counter-terrorism official in government who is the deputy director of extremism program at George Washington University.

The New York Times confirmed early this morning that while the revelation was an accident, the charges a real.

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has secretly filed criminal charges against the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, a person familiar with the case said, a drastic escalation of the government’s yearslong battle with him and his anti-secrecy group.

Top Justice Department officials told prosecutors over the summer that they could start drafting a complaint against Mr. Assange, current and former law enforcement officials said. The charges came to light late Thursday through an unrelated court filing in which prosecutors inadvertently mentioned them.

We don't know exactly what Assange will be charged with, but I expect it could be a very long list.

Assange could face charges that go back much further than his interference in the 2016 election as that was not his first rodeo. It's likely that federal prosecutors know far more than we do about Assange's activities and the indictment should be quite revealing when it's finally unsealed and released to the public.

We can only speculate, but I would guess the indictment has been sealed because it's closely related to charges against other individuals who are still under active investigation or surveillance. Federal prosecutors may also be waiting for Assange's ejection from the Ecuadorian embassy in London as charging him before he's kicked out may persuade Ecuador to let him stay.

We'll undoubtedly see some people say charges against Assange are an assault on the free press, but I personally don't agree with that at all. Assange is a political operative and a cyber terrorist, not a journalist, and he collaborated with foreign intelligence agencies to undermine American sovereignty.

  • muselet

    I’m not unhappy about the thought of Julian Assange being charged with criminal acts, but I still think the US should let the UK deal with him.

    Making him a martyr for free speech and a free press—which he and his supporters would argue loud and long—would serve nobody’s interests but Assange’s. Far better to let Her Majesty’s courts have at him and maintain a studied attitude of contemptuous disdain.

    –alopecia

  • Draxiar

    What did Ecuador actually have to gain by letting him stay there?

  • Badgerite

    “Lock him up!”

  • gescove

    Assange may have begun as a journalist/whistleblower. But, as you aptly note, he devolved into an unprincipled political hack/computer hacker in the thrall of forces hostile to our democracy and sovereignty. I hope the Ecuadorian embassy in London is ready to kick him out into the waiting arms of UK and US authorities.

    • mnpollio

      ^^This – time ten!

  • ozdog

    yes, some guy at the NY times has said that charging assange is assaulting the free press.