Assange’s lawyers argue that more than 100 US citizens, including journalists who visited Assange during his years in the embassy, had their constitutional rights violated.
“It’s very outrageous conduct,” Richard Roth, whose firm Roth Law Firm is representing the group that brought the lawsuit which was filed in the United States southern district of New York’s District Court.
The plaintiffs are US attorneys Margaret Ratner Kunstler, Deborah Hrbek, German-based US journalist John Goetz and the UK-based American journalist Charles Glass.
Roth said the suit was being brought against the CIA, Pompeo, Undercover Global and its boss David Morales under the fourth amendment which he said applied to US citizens regardless of which country they were in at that time.
The fourth amendment protects citizens against unreasonable searches and seizures carried out by the government.
Roth said they were suing potential presidential contender Pompeo as a personal citizen, citing a precedent that allows for lawsuits to be brought against former directors of the CIA in their personal capacity.
He predicted the case would take about 12 months.
Assange is being held in HMG Belmarsh Prison where he is appealing his extradition to the United States to face charges under the Espionage Act relating to the theft and publication of hundreds of thousands of secret cables.
Critics of Assange’s incarceration, including Labor MPs in the Australian government, say that an Australian citizen should not be extradited from a third country to another third country.