The US indictment against Julian Assange alleges that the whistleblower engaged in “conspiracy” with US Army soldier Chelsea Manning in 2010, according to a statement from the US Department of Justice.
The statement said Assange is charged with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion and alleged attempts to break the password for a classified US government computer.
The indictment alleges that Assange helped Manning crack a password stored on a US Department of Defense computer, which Manning had access to in connection with her role as an intelligence analyst.
#Assange has been charged with "agreeing to assist [Chelsea] Manning in cracking a password" stored on a DOD computer connected to a USG network used for classified documents and communications, per the indictment. https://t.co/WcBYlBw0rw pic.twitter.com/byM4UVt6p8
— Jeff Stone (@jeffstone500) April 11, 2019
Manning and Assange had “real-time discussions” regarding the transmission of classified documents, during which Assange allegedly encouraged Manning to provide “more information.”
“After this upload, that’s all I really have got left,” Manning allegedly told Assange, who is alleged to have replied: “curious eyes never run dry in my experience.”
The DOJ says part of what Assange did to justify his prosecution – beyond allegedly helping Manning get the documents – is he encouraged Manning to get more docs for him to publish. Journalists do this with sources constantly: it's the criminalization of journalism pic.twitter.com/GXNjWlkFZw
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April 11, 2019
Assange will be “presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt,” but faces a maximum of five years in prison, if convicted, the statement said.