WASHINGTON AFP April21, 2017- The arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is a US “priority,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on Thursday, as media reports indicated his office was preparing charges against the fugitive anti-hero.
“We are going to step up our effort and already are stepping up our efforts on all leaks,” Sessions, America’s top cop, said at a news conference in response to a reporter’s question about a US priority to arrest Assange.
The Justice Department chief said a rash of leaks of sensitive secrets appeared unprecedented.
“This is a matter that’s gone beyond anything I’m aware of. We have professionals that have been in the security business of the United States for many years that are shocked by the number of leaks and some of them are quite serious,” he said.
“Whenever a case can be made, we will seek to put some people in jail.” Prosecutors in recent weeks have been drafting a memo that looks at charges against Assange and members of WikiLeaks that possibly include conspiracy, theft of government property and violations of the Espionage Act, the Washington Post reported, citing unnamed US officials familiar with the matter.
Several other media outlets also cited unnamed officials as saying US authorities were preparing charges against Assange.