Chelsea Manning released from jail after 2 months, but she could be back again for contempt charges
Whistleblower and former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning has reportedly been released from federal custody after serving only 62 days in jail. She had been jailed at the Alexandria Detention Center since March 8 after refusing to testify to the WikiLeaks grand jury.
CNN reports that Manning is subject to another grand jury subpoena and will need to appear in court again on May 16. However, in case she refuses to testify, she could be found in contempt of court a second time around. Prosecutors have called Manning's leak to WikiLeaks one of the largest compromises of classified information in US history.
Since her incarceration, criminal charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange have been unsealed and he has even been ousted from the Ecuadorian Embassy. Meanwhile, Manning's lawyers have continued to argue that her testimony is unnecessary in part because Assange has already been charged. Earlier during the week, Manning's lawyers filed court papers arguing that she should not be jailed for civil contempt because she has proven that she will stick to her principles and won't testify no matter how long she's jailed.
The former Army intelligence analyst served seven years in a military prison for leaking a trove of military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks before then-President Barack Obama commuted the remainder of her 35-year sentence. Her lawyers also argued that she told authorities everything she knew during her court-martial investigation and that her incarceration was unnecessarily cruel because the jail is unable to provide adequate medical care in connection with gender-reassignment surgery Manning underwent.
Prosecutors responded that they believe they can get Manning to talk despite her being granted immunity for her grand jury testimony. They stated that Manning is out of line for disrupting the grand-jury process simply on her speculation that she is being singled out for harassment. They also say that the jail has gone out of its way to accommodate her medical needs.
However, Manning filed an eight-page statement with the court on Monday, stating otherwise. She wrote that "cooperation with this grand jury is simply not an option. Doing so would mean throwing away all of my principles, accomplishments, sacrifices, and erase decades of my reputation — an obvious impossibility." Despite the jail trying to accommodate her medical needs, Manning mentioned she was suffering disproportionately in jail because of physical problems related to inadequate follow-up care in her surgery.