Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been charged with crime in the U.S., according to one court document, while anonymous sources tell the Wall Street Journal the Department of Justice is planning to prosecute him.
The supposed charge was revealed by a reference to it in an unrelated case against someone named Seitu Sulayman Kokayi: “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,” wrote Assistant U.S. Attorney Kellen S. Dwyer.
It's not clear what the charge is and a spokesman for the Eastern District of Virginia U.S. attorney’s office told Huffington Post it was "not the intended name for this filing," leaving open the question of whether he has in fact been charged.
However, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that U.S. authorities are "optimistic" about pressing charges.
“I have no idea if he has actually been charged or for what, but the notion that the federal criminal charges could be brought based on the publication of truthful information is an incredibly dangerous precedent to set,” said Barry J. Pollack, one of Assange’s attorneys, in reaction to the news.
Assange remains holed up at the Ecuadorean embassy in London after skipping bail on his extradition to Sweden, where he was accused of rape. Though the Swedish prosecution was eventually dropped, Assange still faces arrest on the bail issue if he leaves the embassy, and fears this will be used to engineer his extradition to the United States. Wikileaks is accused of spreading hacked emails and other dox provided to it by Russian intelligence, and of scheming with various Trumpkins to disrupt the 2016 presidential election, but Assange's paranoia about U.S. plans for him long predate these events.