Report: FBI Carries on Assange Investigation

An Australian newspaper reported Thursday the F.B.I. sought to question Julian Assange’s former ghostwriter in London as the U.S. continues a probe that resulted in an indictment three years ago of the imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher.

FBI Headquarters in Washington. (Sammy Six/Flickr)

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

Three years after indicting him on espionage and computer intrusion charges, the Federal Bureau of Investigation appears to be still seeking more evidence against WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange.  

The Sydney Morning Herald has reported in its Thursday edition that the F.B.I. last week sought an interview in London with Andrew O’Hagan, who worked as a ghostwriter on Assange’s autobiography in 2011.  

The London Metropolitan Police’s counterterrorism command sent the letter to O’Hagan, which said: “The FBI would like to discuss your experiences with Assange/WikiLeaks …”  

O’Hagan told the Herald: “I would not give a witness statement against a fellow journalist being pursued for telling the truth. I would happily go to jail before agreeing in any way to support the American security establishment in this cynical effort.”  

The news comes amid growing optimism among Assange supporters that a deal may be in the works to free Assange from London’s Belmarsh prison, where he has been kept since 2019 awaiting the outcome of a U.S. extradition request.  

Assange’s Australian lawyer, Stephen Kenny, told the Herald:

“It appears they are continuing to try to investigate, which I find unusual given the amount of time that has passed since the investigation began.

I would think it is of some concern because we have been working to try to secure an arrangement that would see Julian come home. It would be very unusual if the FBI was trying to gather evidence that could help clear his name.”

Gabriel Shipton, Assange’s brother, told the newspaper: “It shows they understand how weak the charges against Julian are and are trying to strengthen them.”

Optimism about a diplomatic solution to Assange’s plight rose in May when Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese made his clearest statements yet on the case. He said for the first time that he had spoken directly to U.S. authorities about Assange; that he wanted the prosecution to end and that he was concerned for his health.

Optimism grew further when five days later, Caroline Kennedy, the U.S. ambassador to Australia, agreed to meet a group of six, pro-Assange, Australian MPs, from three different parties, plus an independent. It is highly unlikely Kennedy would have invited them to the U.S. embassy for lunch to discuss Assange’s case without approval from at least the State Department, if not the White House.

A few days after that, Albanese said Assange would have to play his part in any deal to be freed. That was widely interpreted to mean that Assange would have to agree to some sort of plea deal, perhaps serve a short sentence in Australia and then walk free.  

Kenny appeared on CN Live! on Monday night to discuss possible end-game scenarios, including a so-called Alford plea, in which Assange would eventually be released by asserting his innocence while also formally pleading guilty to lesser charges. 

U.S. constitutional lawyer Bruce Afran also joined the program and suggested the Assange team could make proposed plea deals, including agreeing to a new, misdemeanor charge of mishandling government documents.  

News of the F.B.I. continuing its probe has thrown those hopes of a deal into disarray.

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former U.N. correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and numerous other newspapers, including The Montreal Gazette and The Star of Johannesburg. He was an investigative reporter for the Sunday Times of London, a financial reporter for Bloomberg News and began his professional work as a 19-year old stringer for The New York Times.  He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @unjoe     

Support CN’s Spring

Fund Drive Today


16 comments for “Report: FBI Carries on Assange Investigation

  1. Nathan Mulcahy
    June 2, 2023 at 16:47

    There will be no peaceful way out of this system that is criminal to its core. I really, really hope that I will be proven wrong.

  2. CaseyG
    June 2, 2023 at 13:02

    I always thought that the FBI’s letters were in the wrong order. I think they lie a lot

    .Instead of FBI, I think that the letters FIB make more sense as I think FIB is what they do.

    • Sharon
      June 2, 2023 at 23:53

      I thought reverse order: I B F (-ing with you)

  3. LeoSun
    June 1, 2023 at 21:56

    “News of the F.B.I. continuing its probe has thrown those hopes of a deal into disarray.” (JOE LAURIA)

    W/fingers crossed, candles lit, The Universe f/SCREAMS, “DO NOT lose sight of; OR, give up the end goal, The End Game, CASE DROPPED!!! Means Years of Persecution ends! The extradition is scrapped. JULIAN ASSANGE, “Lives FREE.”

    IMO, follow Bruce Afran’s lead, it’s “Game OVER!!!”

    IMO, this AMERICAN lawyer’s passion is NOT seeking “Justice For Julian.” Basically, IMO, it’s “F/The Message! GET the Messenger, Him or Her, To Cop A PLEA; and, Live Free…Maybe.

    It’s F.U.B.A.R.; BUT, understanding Afran’s passionate about his lawyerly mission to “Resolve and/or Eliminate the Problem,” b/c that’s what “lawyers” do. What is so f/disturbing, IMO, Bruce Afran feels Julian Assange is GUILTY of SOMETHING!!! Therefore, EVERYBODY needs to suck it up. Julian Assange needs to own up to “a lesser, lower, minor charge, i.e., Mishandling Docs OR Conspiracy to Mishandling docs. “The BEAUTY of a Conspiracy Charge.” Bruce Afran. As well as, “After Julian takes a Plea!” “He’s an International Celebrity.” “It doesn’t have to be public.”

    IMO, the insults just fly, i.e., 1) “It’s uncharted territory.” 2) “Julian needs to find a way. Oh & his children,” (pull on the heart strings)!!! 3) “Australia needs to step up.” 4) “Julian’s team needs to come up w/a Solution.” 5) Julian is a “First-Time Offender.” 6) “A CLEAR PLEA!” (Bruce Afran).

    MISSING, Bruce Afran makes NO MENTION of The USG “Stepping Up!” AND/OR, Coming up w/a solution besides, “The F.B.I. Reopens Assange Investigation.” I suggest, the F.B.I., “WATCH: Stella Assange & Jen Robinson at the NPC“


    Absolutely! “We” wanna hear from The Assange Family & Lawyers, are ya, “Open to a Plea Deal?!?”

    “We are considering all options. We hold that NO CRIME(S) were committed. WHAT would Julian Assange be pleading to?

    HEAR! HEAR! “The primary mission is he should be released and come home to Australia!!!” (Jennifer Robinson)

    • Valerie
      June 2, 2023 at 13:21

      It’s a quandry LeoSun. And i doubt if the “Washington mob” will offer anything less than the espionage charge. It’s up to us and the “Albanese” to get Julian released. CN is doing stellar work on that front by way of all these videos/articles etc.
      Here’s a song i always sing when in a fighting mood:


      • LeoSun
        June 2, 2023 at 23:43

        Awh, Valerie,

        So absolutely apropos!!! “Join the fight that will give you the right to be free.” I’m right flipp’n there. Singing right along side ya! This goes out to the Universe, “Do you hear the people sing” hxxps://

        “When the beating of your heart echoes the beating of the drums. There is a life about to start when tomorrow comes.”

        AND, tomorrow night, 6.3.23. A FULL “Strawberry” Moon will rise & shine upon planet Earth!!! hxxps://

        Valerie, 100%, I agree, “It’s up to us, and the “Albanese” to “Make it Rain,” [GET JULIAN RELEASED]; AND, “CN is doing stellar work!!!”…”Stand By Me” hxxps://

        Thank You! “Keep It Lit!”

  4. Em
    June 1, 2023 at 13:08

    Former ‘Precedent’ Donald Trump is merely accused, after he left office, of the “misdemeanor charge of mishandling government documents”, and is still running around free, shooting his mouth off about his exceptionalism, yet has not served even a full day in court, let alone been incarcerated for his slate of criminality; narcissistically basking in the limelight for the past two and a half years, since he left the immunity of the Oval Office, as supposed of head of state.

    Julian Assange, a selfless humane being, working on behalf of freedom of speech, in the best interests of humanity; on the other hand, has been arbitrarily, and illegitimately held incommunicado, for supposedly NOT being a real Journalist; falsely incarcerated, in solitary confinement, going endlessly, and inhumanely on – suffering daily, both physical and psychological torture, on mere Political pretext.

    And now, all the FBI wants is for him to cop-a-plea? The only reason for this is, in purported retribution; in order to retroactively exonerate the organization for its own despicable, vile behavior – to pass the buck onto some infamous Ghost Writer!

  5. June 1, 2023 at 12:47

    It’s easy, from where others sit to urge Julian to maintain his integrity and to not let the real villains off the hook by agreeing to some sort of concocted plea deal. But I hope he doesn’t. That would, as the Deep State hopes, tarnish his sterling reputation in the face of the most trying of times, and we desperately need real heroes. Heroes like Julian Assange, who in this context, brings to mind the long unjustly imprisoned Nelson Mandela.

  6. sick and tired
    June 1, 2023 at 11:18

    This travesty goes back to “liberal” Obama’s regime and furthered by bipartisan cooperation through almost two more administrations. He has been confined/incarcerated for 11 years mainly for releasing a truthful but unflattering to the US, to say the least, video.

    As an Alabama native I offer this quote penned by another Alabama native to Ms. Kennedy and the powerful ilk involved in this tragedy:

    “I am confident that you gentlemen will review without passion the evidence you have heard, come to a decision, and restore this man to his family. In the name of God, do your duty.”

    June 1, 2023 at 11:11

    This is the lever, that the Australian Government could use, on behalf of Julian Assange.

    No true trustworthy Australian Patriot would abrogate Australian Sovereignty to any Nation, especially not to a trouble seeker, one like the U.S.. Just read the “Force-Posture” agreement for yourself. It is also inescapable, that we are now “embedded” partners with the U.S., and their plans to War with China and Russia. The Australian Government will be obliged to legislate, if not already done, to issue orders for all able-bodied Australians, aged between eighteen and thirty-five, to be called for Military Service. To be trained to kill or be killed, this will happen within two years from now, give or take a month or two. The said agreement only mentions war materiel supplies and support , not U.S. military personnel. Australians will fight against Taiwan and China, and probably Russia too! To the “Last-man” , and you better believe it.”It is written”.

    • Mark A
      June 2, 2023 at 16:18

      That’s what Ukraine thought 18 – 35, now it’s everyone 18 – 60 plus disabled, and no leaving the country after you’re 15 years of age.

  8. Elyse Gilbert
    June 1, 2023 at 08:37

    Unbelievable and Tragic.

    However, this is the all too similar disappointing information Assange supporters have been used to hearing. For us, the unfolding of the entire case has been a series of rollercoaster rides with our emotions raised up and then spiraling down. The plethora of unbelievable events that one would expect in a Hollywood blockbuster spy movie but not against a person who simply published truthful war crimes the people have a right to know.

    Not against an award winning journalist and publisher who broke history by revealing the war crimes of the United States military and government. He deserved a medal, not a decade long persecution of 5 states and ultimately a forever incarceration.

    What many of us supporters cannot wrap our heads around is WHY hasn’t this been thrown to the garbage yet? Assassination attempts revealed from the US intelligence agencies (CIA), spying, lying and recanting from the key witness of the (FBI) who is a psychopath and convicted thief and child molester and if that weren’t enough there was already a decade long character assassination including a rape frame up in Sweden!

    JULIAN ASSANGE MUST BE FREED NOW. PLEASE make this make sense.

  9. Callister
    June 1, 2023 at 02:48

    Would he have to enter a plea in person in a U.S. court? Or in U.S. custody? If so it would be a foolish thing to agree to.

  10. Linda Edwards
    May 31, 2023 at 23:15

    Free Julian Assange.

    For God’s sake free this man and let him go home to his family.

    Free yourself while you are at it.

    • Valerie
      June 1, 2023 at 09:03

      “Free yourself while you are at it.”

      That’s right Linda. They are so wrapped up in their paranoia and ego.

    • June 2, 2023 at 17:22

      Several years ago, I wrote to all states involved to free Julian Assange and take me to court. Since then I have repeated it over again, with no response. What else can I do? They cannot let me go without the whole system collapsing and the time has not come yet for that. I cannot even get a lawyer for a consultation.

Comments are closed.