On Friday morning, Chelsea Manning was sent to jail.
During a short hearing Manning told U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton there was no way Manning would testify in front of a jury regarding an investigation into Wikileaks. Manning said Manning “will accept whatever you bring upon me.”
Hilton found Manning in contempt of court and sent Manning to jail. Manning objected to the secrecy of the grand jury process, and claimed that any knowledge Manning had was given at Manning’s court martial.
Before the hearing, Manning issued a statement invoking the First, Fourth and Sixth amendment as protections from having to testify, saying, “In solidarity with many activists facing the odds, I will stand by my principles. I will exhaust every legal remedy available.”
McCormick said Manning could avoid going to jail by simply testifying.
As The Daily Wire reported on Thursday:
Law & Crime reports that it’s unclear what issue the federal grand jury has been convened over, but it appears that prosecutors wanted Manning to testify regarding Julian Assange and Wikileaks. A U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia appeared to confirm that the government is pursuing an as-yet-unknown set of potential criminal charges against the Wikileaks founder, who is still holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
“The government slapped Manning with a subpoena to appear before a grand jury in the EDVA, Manning moved to quash the subpoena. A federal judge denied that attempted quashing on Tuesday,” Law & Crime reported earlier this week.
Manning, of course, has a clear connection to Assange, having offered Wikileaks a trove of classified documents, transcripts, and videos stolen from military intelligence agencies in the Middle East during the Iraq War. Manning downloaded the classified material, ostensibly in protest of the military’s ban on LGBT individuals serving openly, and passed the material to Assange, who posted it on Wikileaks.
The Daily Wire noted in January 2017:
Manning was charged with violating the US Espionage Act and sentenced to 35 years in prison. He will only serve seven years in prison, thanks to President Obama. Manning was detained in 2010 after leaking information of vital national security interest to the United States. He was due out of jail in 2045.
Obama stated, “First of all, let’s be clear, Chelsea Manning has served a tough prison sentence. Given she went to trial and due process was carried out, that she took responsibility for her crime, that the sentence that she received was very disproportionate relative to what other leakers had received — and that she had served a significant amount of time — it made sense to commute a part of her sentence.”
Before being released by Obama, Manning issued a statement saying, “The past will always affect me and I will keep that in mind while remembering that how it played out is only my starting point — not my final destination.”
In August 2017, Manning tweeted, “Imagine a world without prisons,” later adding, “police, prosecutors, and prisons are not the only forms of justice.”