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Is Julian Assange a journalist? The Justice Department sidestepped that question in its indictment of Assange. Assange was arrested in London Thursday, as U.S. prosecutors unsealed an indictment accusing him of conspiring with Chelsea Manning to hack a Pentagon computer in 2010 to obtain secret documents that WikiLeaks hoped to publish. Assange's lawyer, Barry Pollack, countered that his client deserves to be treated as a journalist.Assange's information-dumping actions make some First Amendment lawyers queasy.An intriguing footnote to the Assange case is that as part of a failed plea-bargain negotiation with the Justice Department in 2017, he offered to help vet some highly classified CIA files that WikiLeaks was publishing in a document dump known as "Vault 7 ".That's why so many press advocates seemed to be distancing themselves from Assange after the news broke Thursday.
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