Assange won't be charged in CIA leak: report

Assange won't be charged in CIA leak: report
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WikiLeaks founder Julian AssangeJulian Paul AssangeGlenn Greenwald calls charges against Assange a threat to journalistic freedoms Hillicon Valley: Justice Department announces superseding indictment against WikiLeaks' Assange | Facebook ad boycott gains momentum | FBI sees spike in coronavirus-related cyber threats | Boston city government bans facial recognition technology Justice Department announces superseding indictment against Wikileaks' Assange MORE will not face charges in connection the 2017 publication of information relating to the CIA’s hacking capabilities, according to Politico.

Federal prosecutors would face an uphill struggle in prosecuting Assange for publishing the documents, dubbed “Vault 7,” in part because extradition law requires them to charge Assange within 60 days of his first indictment, which they filed in March when they accused him of helping whistleblower Chelsea ManningChelsea Elizabeth ManningHillicon Valley: Justice Department announces superseding indictment against WikiLeaks' Assange | Facebook ad boycott gains momentum | FBI sees spike in coronavirus-related cyber threats | Boston city government bans facial recognition technology Justice Department announces superseding indictment against Wikileaks' Assange Overnight Defense: National Guard activated to fight coronavirus | Pentagon 'fairly certain' North Korea has cases | General says Iran threat remains 'very high' after US strikes MORE access military computers, according to the publication.

Assange is being held in London at the request of U.S. authorities, following his eviction from the Ecuadorian Embassy where he had sought refuge for several years.

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The government is also concerned about the sensitivity of the material in question and whether prosecuting Assange could spread even more sensitive material than the original leak did, according to Politico.

“There is no question that there are leak cases that can’t be prosecuted against the leaker or the leakee because the information is so sensitive that, for your proof at trial, you would have to confirm it is authentic,” Mary McCord, who served as acting assistant attorney general for national security at the Justice Department until 2017, told the publication. “So the irony, often, is that the higher the classification of the leaked material, the harder it is to prosecute.”  

Due to these concerns, Assange will only be prosecuted under the initial count and 17 counts of Espionage Act violations, according to the publication. The government has no plans to bring further indictments before extraditing Assange, but Sweden, where two women have accused the Wikileaks founder of sex crimes, is also seeking to extradite him.