WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has long justified his self-imposed asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London – even after receiving citizenship – because he feared the U.S. would arrest him.
Now, it seems he’s right, according to an unrelated court filing in Virginia that inadvertently revealed that Justice Department has an indictment ready to go against him.
The Assange indictment came to light in a Virginia court filing seeking to seal a criminal complaint and supporting documents against Seitu Sulayman Kokayi in a sex case.
United States attorney office for the Eastern District of Virginia Spokesman Joshua Stueve told the New York Times “The court filing was made in error. That was not the intended name for this filing.”
While the potential charges against Assange in the indictment are unclear, the outspoken WikiLeaks founder has been in the crosshairs since he released documents nicked by former Army private Chelsea Manning, scrutiny that intensified after Assange released a raft of stolen DNC emails damaging to Hillary Clinton – at a steady drip – during the waning months of the 2016 presidential election.
Those actions have been the interest of Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his counterparts in the U.S. attorney offices in the Southern District of New York and Virginia who are investigating Russian interference in the election, potential collusion with the Trump campaign and other crimes committed by campaign cohorts, such as former campaign manager Paul Manafort.