U.S. Senator Ben Sasse, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight, directly asked Attorney General Sessions if “the Department of Justice [believes] Julian Assange has broken the law and is the Department aggressively pursuing his detention and prosecution?”

Earlier today, the White House Press Secretary referred a question about the WikiLeaks founder to the Department of Justice. In January, the Intelligence Community issued a formal assessment saying that WikiLeaks is a known outlet of foreign propaganda. 

The full text of Sasse’s letter is found here and below: 


Dear Attorney General Sessions,

When asked if the President believes Julian Assange – the creator and manager of the WikiLeaks website – should be imprisoned for his deliberate acquisition and release of sensitive and classified information, the President’s spokesman, Mr. Sean Spicer, referred the question to the Department of Justice (DOJ). As the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight, I am asking you directly:

Does the Department of Justice believe Julian Assange has broken the law and is the Department aggressively pursuing his detention and prosecution?

Frankly, it is amazing that I even have to ask this question of the Administration in light of the Intelligence Community’s formal assessment that Mr. Assange’s website is a known outlet for foreign propaganda and in light of Mr. Assange’s history of recklessly endangering the lives of Americans through his illegal disclosures. Nevertheless, because Mr. Spicer referred this matter to DOJ, I am now asking you.

I look forward to your prompt response.