The Washington Post

Justice Dept. requests extraditio­n of Assange

- — Rachel Weiner and Devlin Barrett

The Justice Department has delivered to officials in Britain a formal extraditio­n request for Julian Assange, making further U.S. charges against the WikiLeaks founder unlikely.

A U.S. official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter said the request was sent Thursday. The United States’ treaty with Britain required that the request be sent within 60 days of Assange’s April 11 arrest at the Ecuadoran Embassy in London.

In an 18-count indictment filed last month, prosecutor­s charged Assange with violating the Espionage Act and conspiring to hack into a government

computer.

The Justice Department did not pursue Assange for the 2017 exposure of CIA hacking tools known as “Vault 7,” according to government officials, out of concern that doing so would do more damage to national security.

A grand jury investigat­ion of Assange has remained active in recent weeks.

Assange is serving a 50-week sentence for fleeing to the Ecuadoran Embassy in 2012 rather than facing sexual assault charges in Sweden. He is still under investigat­ion for rape in Sweden, although a court there recently ruled that he should not be extradited.

A June 12 hearing is set for Assange in Britain.

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