BUNGAY, England – The founder of WikiLeaks said Friday he fears the U.S. is preparing to indict him, but insisted that the government secret-spilling site would continue its work despite what he calls a dirty tricks campaign against him.

Julian Assange spoke from snowbound Ellingham Hall, a supporter’s 10-bedroom country mansion where he is confined on bail as he fights Sweden’s attempt to extradite him on allegations of rape and molestation.

He insisted to television interviewers that he was being subjected to a smear campaign and “what appears to be a secret grand jury investigation against me or our organization.”

Attorney General Eric Holder has said repeatedly a criminal investigation of the WikiLeaks’ continuing release of some 250,000 secret U.S. State Department cables is under way and that anyone found to have broken the law will be held accountable.

The Justice Department has provided no other comment.

If pursued, the case could pit the government’s efforts to protect sensitive information against press and speech freedoms guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. The government suspects WikiLeaks received the documents from an Army private, Bradley Manning, who is in the brig on charges of leaking other classified documents to the organization.

Assange did not elaborate on the rumored grand jury investigation, but said he had retained an unspecified U.S. law firm to represent him.

A British High Court judge freed Assange on bail Thursday on condition he reside at the 600-acre estate in eastern England, wear an electronic tag and report to police daily. Assange spent nine days in prison after handing himself in to British police on Dec. 7.

In an interview Friday on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Assange said he had never heard Manning’s name until the press began reporting it.