Though the superseding indictment doesn't contain any additional charges other than the 18 the DOJ unsealed in 2019, prosecutors argue that it "broadens the scope" of alleged efforts by Assange to gather and release classified information.
Among the mentions in the new indictment are allegations that Assange gained access to a government computer system of a NATO country in 2010, communicated directly with a leader of LulzSec in 2012 about a list of hack targets, and published emails from a breach against an intelligence consulting company "by an 'Anonymous' and LulzSec-affiliated hacker."
Furthermore, per the indictment, prosecutors state that the "broadened hacking conspiracy continues to allege" that the WikiLeaks founder conspired with Chelsea Manning.
In a statement to the Associated Press, Assange's lawyer Barry Pollack pointed to the superseding indictment as another example of the government's "relentless pursuit" of his client, which he notes pose a potentially "grave threat" to journalists around the world.
"While today's superseding indictment is yet another chapter in the U.S. Government's effort to persuade the public that its pursuit of Julian Assange is based on something other than his publication of newsworthy truthful information, the indictment continues to charge him with violating the Espionage Act based on WikiLeaks publications exposing war crimes committed by the U.S. Government," Pollack said on Wednesday.
The new indictment has also been criticized by reporters including Robert Mackey and Glenn Greenwald, with the former highlighting its reliance on a "blatant error":
Assange is presently detained in the U.K. on an extradition request from the U.S.