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U.S. reportedly considering criminal charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

Federal prosecutors are contemplating seeking criminal charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and other members of the organization, CNN and The Washington Post report.

Since 2010, the Justice Department has been investigating Assange and WikiLeaks, which came to prominence after posting files stolen by former Army soldier Chelsea Manning. During the Obama administration, former attorney general Eric Holder thought it would be too hard to bring charges against Assange because WikiLeaks wasn't the only site to publish the documents; The New York Times and other newspapers did as well. The investigation wasn't closed, though, and the Justice Department is once again open to looking at the case, the Post says, with prosecutors drafting a memo mulling charges against WikiLeaks employees, including conspiracy, theft of government property, and violation of the Espionage Act.

Assange is now living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, avoiding arrest stemming from rape allegations made against him in Sweden. His attorney, Barry J. Pollack, told the Post there is "no legitimate basis for the Department of Justice to treat WikiLeaks differently than it treats other journalists," and WikiLeaks is "publishing truthful information that is in the public's interest." It is not clear if the Justice Department is also looking into WikiLeaks publishing emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee during the presidential election.