Chelsea Manning Ordered Released From Prison, Fined $256,000


Friday, March 13th 2020, 11:19 am
By: CBS News


A judge on Thursday ordered that former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning be released from prison, where she was being held in contempt of court for refusing to testify in front of a grand jury. Manning was also ordered to pay $256,000 in fines accrued during her detention. The order comes just a day after Manning's legal team said she attempted suicide at the Virginia detention center where she was incarcerated. 

Judge Anthony Trenga ruled that Manning's "appearance before the Grand Jury is no longer needed, in light of which her detention no longer serves any coercive purpose." Manning's release is not dependent on her paying the $256,000. 
 
Manning's legal team did not immediately respond to CBS News' request for comment. The U.S. Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of Virginia declined to comment.

 

Manning, who worked as an intelligence analyst in Iraq, was convicted in 2013 for leaking classified government and military documents to WikiLeaks and given a 35-year military sentence. President Obama commuted her sentence in 2017 before he left office.
 
Two years later, Manning was jailed again in March 2019 for refusing to testify in front of a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks. She was released approximately two months later when the grand jury's term expired — but then was jailed again a week later for refusing to comply with a second subpoena from the new grand jury. 
 
At the time, the judge said she could be incarcerated for up to 18 months, and that she'd be fined $500 per day for 30 days, and $1,000 per day after 60 days. 
 
Manning has repeatedly objected to the grand juries and said she was not willing to testify. In 2019, she told Judge Trenga in a letter: "I object to this grand jury ... as an effort to frighten journalists and publishers, who serve a crucial public good. I have had these values since I was a child, and I've had years of confinement to reflect on them. For much of that time, I depended for survival on my values, my decisions, and my conscience. I will not abandon them now." 

—Clare Hymes contributed reporting.