US Case Against Assange Sputtering Officials can't prove he influenced Bradley Manning By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff Posted Feb 9, 2011 12:34 PM CST 2 comments Comments WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange arrives at Belmarsh Magistrates' Court in London, Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham) (Newser) – US investigators haven’t been able to prove that Bradley Manning gave files directly to Julian Assange—and now officials say they also can’t prove that Assange induced Manning to leak the documents in the first place. Manning was initially painted as a confused young man influenced by Assange, but now officials believe he came up with the plan to hand over confidential information to WikiLeaks himself, the Wall Street Journal reports. All of this will make it more difficult for the government to prosecute Assange; in order to bring a case against him, officials would need to show that he encouraged Manning. A possible conspiracy case against Assange could focus on the links that were found between Manning and others in the WikiLeaks organization, as well as Assange’s leadership of WikiLeaks. But that is also a difficult case to make, officials say.