The arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is now a “priority” for the United States, said Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Hours later, CNN reported that the authorities had prepared charges against Assange, who has been held for almost six years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where communications have been restricted since the end of March.
During his election campaign for the presidency, Donald Trump lavished praise on the website that unveiled American secrets: “I love WikiLeaks,” he once said at a rally, but his administration has adopted a different tone, according to the British newspaper The Guardian.
Asked if it was a priority for the justice department to arrest Assange “once and for all,” Sessions told a news conference in El Paso, Texas, last Thursday: “We are going to intensify our effort and we are already doing it”
“This is an issue that has gone beyond what I know. We have professionals who have been in the security business of the United States for many years who are surprised by the amount of leaks and some of them are quite serious, “said the attorney general.
Barry Pollack, Assange’s lawyer, denied knowledge of imminent prosecution. “We have not had communication with the Department of Justice and they have not indicated to me that they have filed charges against Mr. Assange,” he told CNN.
US authorities have been investigating Assange and WikiLeaks since at least 2010 when they published, in cooperation with publications such as The Guardian, more than a quarter of a million classified cables from US embassies leaked by the US Army whistleblower, Chelsea Manning. (I)