Assange hit with 17 new charges, including Espionage Act violations

Source: The Hill | May 23, 2019 | Morgan Chalfant and Jacqueline Thomsen

Justice Department officials on Thursday announced 17 additional felony charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

A grand jury in Alexandria, Va., returned the superseding indictment charging Assange with conspiring to violate the Espionage Act by working with former Army intelligence officer Chelsea Manning to obtain classified materials.

Assange is also charged with publishing a select range of the classified documents that revealed the names of low-level, local sources utilized by the U.S. government, including Afghan and Iraqi nationals and journalists.

“Some say Julian Assange is a journalist. The department takes seriously the role of journalists in our democracy,” said John Demers, the assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s National Security Division. But, Demers said, Assange “is no journalist.”

The charges are unveiled as Assange is fighting extradition to the U.S. after he was arrested earlier this year on a conspiracy charge.

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