Justice Department prosecutors appear to have accidentally revealed Thursday that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been charged. The complaint against him was under seal as part of a separate case connected to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
The private matter was shared in a filing Assistant U.S. Attorney Kellen S. Dwyer sent to a judge in the Eastern District of Virginia in August. This is according to the Washington Post. Dwyer is also working on the WikiLeaks case.
“[D]ue to the sophistication of the defendant and the publicity surrounding the case, no other procedure is likely to keep confidential the fact that Assange has been charged,” Dwyer wrote, adding, “need to remain sealed until Assange is arrested.”
Eastern District of Virginia spokesman Joshua Stueve told the Post the filing was made in error. Assange’s name was not supposed to be included, he said.
The filing was discovered Thursday night by Seamus Hughes, a researcher with George Washington University.
Assange has been hold up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012 in a small apartment.
Wikileaks has responded:
DID THEY ACCIDENTAL SHOW THEIR HAND?
Did the US Department of Justice just accidentally reveal that it has charged WikiLeaks’ publisher Julian Assange, in a secret charges request it filed in another case at the Eastern District of Virginia, with a cut-and-paste error? https://t.co/XCpean1yof pic.twitter.com/dZ6JjAFGlk
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) November 16, 2018