At issue is getting Assange to Sweden on false pretenses. Once there, he'll be shipped off to America for prosecution.
An earlier New York Times report said a secret grand jury convened. A sealed indictment charges Assange with spying under the 1917 Espionage Act.
Doing so contradicts the law's intent. It doesn't deter Justice Department officials from using it. It passed shortly after America's entry into WW I. Over time, it's been amended numerous times.
Originally it prohibited interfering with US military operations, supporting the nation's enemies, promoting insubordination in the ranks, or obstructing military recruitment.
In 1921, its most controversial provisions were repealed. In 2010, Bradley Manning was charged under the Act. Technically its under Articles 104 and 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). It includes parts of the US Code.
Assange's indictment is ready to be made public whenever Washington wishes to do so. Espionage Act violations will be charged.
Stratfor Global Intelligence suggested it last year. A case against him has been building for some time. At issue is getting him out of circulation for life or perhaps executing him. Doing so would send a powerful message to deter other whistleblowers.
Obama waged war more aggressively against them than all previous US presidents combined. Assange and Bradley Manning are best known. Anyone exposing dirty secrets officials want suppressed is vulnerable.