U.S. Weighs Plea Deal for WikiLeaks Founder Assange With Espionage Charges Dropped - Report | 21 March 2024 | WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been engaged in a legal struggle in the UK against being extradited to the U.S., where he faces 17 counts of espionage and one charge of computer misuse, possibly resulting in a prison term of up to 175 years. However, there apparently may be a way to cut short this protracted London court case. The U.S. government, according to The Wall Street Journal, is exploring the option of offering WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange a plea deal. The Justice Department is contemplating the possibility of dropping the 17 current charges against him under the Espionage Act. This would be in exchange for Assange pleading guilty to a lesser offense of mishandling classified information, which is categorized as a misdemeanor. Assange would be able to enter such a plea deal remotely from London's HM Prison Belmarsh, where he has been incarcerated since April 2019.