Chelsea Manning Sent Back To Jail For Contempt

Sergio Conner
May 18, 2019

Chelsea Manning was again behind bars on Thursday night after she was jailed for a second time for contempt of court, having refused to cooperate with a grand jury.

"Ultimately the goal here is to re-litigate the court martial, from my perspective".

Manning was not required to actually appear before the grand jury and refuse to answer questions Thursday. She said any more jail time would do nothing to get her to comply with the subpoena.

Manning's lawyer also indicated that she would not be complying with the court's demands. "It is telling that the US has always been concerned with the disclosure of those documents than their damning substance".

She went on to say that the Trump administration was "obsessed with unwinding Obama's legacy, from health care to Chelsea's commutation".

Manning's 2013 conviction resulted in a 35-year sentence that was commuted after seven years by former President Barack Obama. But Manning continued to download State Department cables and send them to WikiLeaks, which published large troves of the hacked data in 2010 and 2011.

USA prosecutors publicly released the indictment against Assange after he was evicted from Ecuador's London embassy, where he took refuge in 2012 fearing extradition to the United States or Sweden.

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Assange was arrested in London in April for having skipped bail on a Swedish sexual assault investigation, but once he was in British police custody, the US Justice Department revealed an indictment against the publisher for having supposedly helped Manning break into a US government computer and steal classified documents. He said that "the longer Ms. Manning spends in jail, the more she realizes it's in her interest to testify".

Assange remains in England and has vowed to fight extradition to the United States.

"We have a lawfully predicated reason for seeking her testimony and we'll continue to do so", he added.

She will remain in custody until she agrees to testify or until the term of the grand jury expires in 18 months, according to the Post. Manning was first detained in early March and spent 62 days in jail before a temporary release one week ago. Manning was given just one week of freedom to spend with her friends and family before being cruelly thrown back into federal detention.

The tussle over the grand jury is now shaping up into an epic battle of wills between Virginia prosecutors determined to force Manning to testify in what they hope will be an eventual trial of Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, and the former intelligence analyst, who has proven herself to have a defiant streak.

Assange now faces extradition to the United States from the UK on a hacking charge for allegedly seeking to assist Manning to crack a password so she could remain anonymous on a military computer network.

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