Chelsea Manning May Return To Jail For Still Refusing To Testify

The Army whistleblower said she plans to defy another grand jury subpoena in an apparent case against WikiLeaks' Julian Assange.

Chelsea Manning, recently out of jail after refusing to testify before a grand jury about WikiLeaks, said Sunday that she plans to defy another subpoena this week and may end up back behind bars.

“I think that we have a much stronger case in terms of the legal objections, which the previous judge refused to even hear,” the former Army intelligence analyst told CNN’s Brian Stelter on “Reliable Sources.” “He refused to even hear or act on the motions. He just simply placed me in contempt and ignored our motions.”

Manning was released from jail in Virginia after more than two months last week after a judge held her in contempt for refusing to testify before a grand jury, apparently part of federal prosecutors’ continued efforts to investigate WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Her release came because the grand jury’s term expired.

Manning indicated that she would refuse to testify again in response to another subpoena she received while jailed. That subpoena, she said, would have her appear before a separate grand jury on Thursday to answer the same questions she previously refused to answer. Manning claims she’s already given all the information prosecutors want in prior public testimony.

“They’ve already stipulated that they want to ask the same questions,” Manning told Stelter. “So this is not about anything new. They’re not even asking anything new. I’ve already laid all of this out.”

In a statement from her attorneys earlier this month, Manning described grand juries as “simply outdated tools used by the federal government to harass and disrupt political opponents and activists in fishing expeditions.”

Manning was imprisoned for about seven years after leaking more than 750,000 classified military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks while serving as an Army analyst in Iraq in 2010. She faced dozens of years in prison, but President Barack Obama commuted her sentence in 2017 soon before leaving office.

Manning told Stelter that her lawyers expect to challenge the court if a judge again holds her in contempt for refusing to testify this week.

“We certainly have a motion to quash. We’re certainly going to raise every single legal challenge that we have,” she said. “We have a very strong case. And we had a strong case previously. But now we have additional evidence as to what our case is.”