The U.S. Department of Justice is seeking to take action against WikiLeaks and arrest its founder, Julian Assange.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on bringing charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange pic.twitter.com/NY5xOHDEgq— Mikael Thalen (@MikaelThalen) April 20, 2017
The announcement was made by Attorney General Jeff Sessions at a press conference on Thursday. "We are going to step up our efforts and already are stepping up our efforts on all leaks," Sessions said. "We have professionals who have been in the security business of the United States for many years that are shocked by the number of leaks. Some of them are quite serious."
He went on to say that making arrests for these leaks is a “priority.”
This news is ironic given President Trump’s very vocal support of WikiLeaks.
The President has frequently expressed support for WikiLeaks and Assange, who sought asylum in Ecuador's U.K. embassy after fleeing allegations of sexual assault in Sweden. During the 2016 election, WikiLeaks released emails from the Democratic National Committee that the FBI and U.S. intelligence community believe were obtained by hackers working for the Russian government.
Many of Trump's allies, from one-time advisor Roger Stone to Fox News' Sean Hannity, also tweeted praise for the organization that his administration is now seeking to prosecute.
Some Republican leaders, like newly appointed CIA Director Mike Pompeo, have also changed their stance from loving WikiLeaks (when it was helping his boss win an election) to admonishing them (once the election was over).
Other Republicans, like House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senator Tom Cotton, and Senator John McCain, have consistently criticized the actions of WikiLeaks and Assange.
WikiLeaks is preparing to fight back.
In response to the Justice Department's announcement, the controversial organization
The situation demonstrates the opportunism and hypocrisy of politicians when it comes to leaking.
While Trump has voiced support of WikiLeaks and Assange, he recently become a staunch critic of what he declared “illegal” and “un-American” leaks of information that cast his White House in a bad light. Today's announcement that WikiLeaks will be prosecuted is a clear product of this administration's newfound opposition to leaks.