Mr Assange fled to Ecuador's London embassy in 2012 to escape extradition to Sweden on since-dropped sexual assault charges and has stayed there over fears he could be extradited to the U.S. if he leaves.
Over the past year, prosecutors in the United States have been discussing the possibility of charging the WikiLeaks co-founder with a number of crimes, which, they hope, could see Assange expelled from the Ecuadorean embassy in London, Washington-based sources familiar with the matter have told the WSJ.
Any arrest could have an impact on the investigation in the United States into any ties between Russian Federation and the 2016 presidential campaign.
But the charging of Assange in the U.S. could have implications for special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into whether Donald Trump's election campaign team colluded with Russian Federation to influence the 2016 presidential vote, and whether Trump tried to obstruct the probe into that. She is reportedly also assigned to the Assange case.
Prosecutors inadvertently disclosed the existence of a sealed indictment in a court filing in an unrelated case, WikiLeaks said Thursday.
It was not immediately clear why Assange's name was included in the document, though Joshua Stueve, a spokesman for the Eastern District of Virginia - which had been investigating Assange - said, "The court filing was made in error". In the Obama administration, the Justice Department had concluded that pursuing Assange would be akin to prosecuting a news organisation. Prosecutors are known to copy text from past court filings to make similar arguments in new cases, typically changing names and other relevant details accordingly. If so, charges against the WikiLeaks editor could be potentially linked to the notorious probe by special counsel Robert Mueller, who is struggling to find proof of Russia's "interference" in the 2016 USA election.
One of Assange's attorneys, Barry Pollack, said it was a "dangerous path for a democracy to take" for a government to bring criminal charges against someone for publishing truthful information.
The filing carried markings indicating it was originally filed in a US District Court in Alexandria, Virginia in August. It was filed in the case of a man named Seitu Sulayman Kokayi.
Pollack said he did not know if Assange has been charged. Since June 2012, Assange has been living in the Ecuadorian embassy, afraid that if he steps outside he will be arrested.
The DOJ is increasingly optimistic about the prospect of bringing Julian Assange before a U.S. court and is reportedly planning to formally charge the whistleblower in the hope of getting him out of the Ecuadorean embassy in London.