WaPo: Justice Department Considering Whether To Charge WikiLeaks Members

Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

The Justice Department is considering whether to bring criminal charges against members of WikiLeaks and reexamining the organization’s 2010 publication of military documents and diplomatic cables, the Washington Post reported on Thursday.

Federal prosecutors are also investigating whether Wikileaks bears criminal responsibility for publishing alleged CIA materials describing hacking tools in March, according to the report, which cites unnamed sources familiar with the case.

It is not clear whether prosecutors are also looking at WikiLeaks’ role last year in publishing emails from the Democratic National Committee and the account of Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, which U.S. officials have said were hacked by the Russian government. Officials have said individuals “one step” removed from the Kremlin passed the stolen messages to WikiLeaks as part of a broader Russian plot to influence the 2016 presidential election.

CNN reported Thursday evening, citing unnamed U.S. officials familiar with the matter, that U.S. authorities have “prepared charges to seek the arrest” of the organization’s founder Julian Assange.

Assange has remained in the Ecuadoran embassy in London since 2012 to evade questioning about a rape allegation.

This post has been updated.

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Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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