Assange has been holed up in a small room in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for more than six years to avoid extradition to the US.
Any charges against Assange could help illuminate the question of whether Russian Federation coordinated with the Trump campaign to sway the 2016 presidential election.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller III has also exploring the publication by WikiLeaks of emails from the Democratic National Committee and the account of Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. Chelsea Manning. In a Twitter post early Friday, WikiLeaks said the "US case against WikiLeaks started in 2010" and expanded to include other disclosures, including by contractor Edward Snowden.
"Did the US Department of Justice just accidentally reveal that it has charged WikiLeaks' publisher Julian Assange, in a secret charges request it filed in another case at the Eastern District of Virginia, with a cut-and-paste error?", the Wikileaks tweeted sharing a screenshot of the purported document.
United States intelligence agencies have alleged the emails were hacked by Russian spies and transferred to WikiLeaks.
The document carries markings indicating it was originally filed in US District Court in Alexandria, Virginia in August.
Assange's lawyer Barry Pollack, however, told the WSJ that he had "heard nothing from authorities suggesting that a criminal case against Mr. Assange is imminent". He has long maintained that leaving the embassy would lead to his arrest and attempted extradition to the U.S. The U.S. government has never said if it has sealed charges against Assange, but former President Barack Obama's Justice Department reportedly decided against pursuing charges on the ground that WikiLeaks is too similar to a news organization.
"That was not the intended name for this filing", he said.
Earlier on Thursday evening, the Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. was making preparations to prosecute Assange and was confident of being able to detain him and make him stand trial.
The defendant in the case, Seitu Sulayman Kokayi, is charged with coercion and enticement of a minor.
"Prosecuting someone for publishing truthful information would set a awful and risky precedent", Pollack said. The sex offence charges against Assange have eventually been dropped but the whistleblower has not left the diplomatic mission, where he was granted asylum, over fears that he might be seized by the UK authorities and extradited to the United States where he is wanted for leaking classified documents.