U.S. officials speaking anonymously to The Washington Post said the Justice Department is unlikely to prosecute WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange because of a “New York Times” problem:

If the Justice Department indicted Assange, it would also have to prosecute the New York Times and other news organizations and writers who published classified material, including The Washington Post and Britain’s Guardian newspaper, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

No word yet on whether the quoted officials will investigate themselves for leaking secret information.

As The Guardian reports, attorney Barry Pollack, representing Assange, has asked for a formal declaration confirming the leak that the WikiLeaks publisher will not be prosecuted.

Since June 19, 2012, Assange has been unable to leave the Ecuadorean Embassy in London for fear of extradition to the United States, where he worries he would face espionage charges stemming from leaks by Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning.

— Posted by Peter Z. Scheer

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