Chelsea Manning was hoping she could convince a judge to quash a fresh subpoena from a Virginia grand jury. Her plan didn’t work.
Manning is going back to jail.
The outcome was predictable enough.
A spokesperson for Manning told Reuters earlier that she would argue that the grand jury is only used for investigations and that it is improper to call Manning in order to prepare for trial. The subpoena “represents an improper and impermissible use of the grand jury process,” the spokesperson said. Manning is also requesting that the court force the government to turn over any evidence that she was electronically surveilled by any U.S. intelligence agencies.
Manning—who was infamously convicted of violating the Espionage Act by disclosing thousands of “classified (and unclassified but ‘sensitive’) documents” to WikiLeaks—was previously held in contempt for 62 days after she refused to comply with another subpoena from the Eastern District of Virginia.
Manning was released because the previous subpoena expired. Right after she got out of jail, she posted a YouTube video explaining why she did not comply with the last subpoena, and reiterated that she will not comply again with any new subpoena.
“As a general principle, I object to grand juries. Prosecutors run grand juries behind closed doors and in secret without a judge present. Therefore, I decline to answer any questions,” Manning said. Later, she added “when I arrive at the court house this coming Thursday, what happened last time will occur again. I will not cooperate with this or any other grand jury.”
Prosecutors are seeking Manning’s testimony for its case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Assange allegedly helped Manning hack government computers, encouraged her to leak even more information, and attempted to hide her role in the leaks. For her part in the hacking, Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for violating the Espionage Act. But after seven years in prison, then-President Barack Obama commuted Manning’s sentence in 2017.
Editor’s note: this story was updated after publication to note that Manning has been jailed.
[Image via YouTube screengrab]
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