Chelsea Manning sent to jail for refusing to testify in Wikileaks case
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning will be held in jail until she testifies before a grand jury or that grand jury is no longer operating, a federal judge in Alexandria ruled Friday.
Most of the hearing at which prosecutors argued for Manning to held in contempt was sealed, but the court was open to the public for Judge Claude Hilton’s ruling.
“I’ve found you in contempt,” Hilton said. He ordered her to custody immediately, “either until you purge yourself or the end of the life of the grand jury.”
Manning was called to testify in an investigation into Wikileaks, the anti-secrecy website she shared classified documents with back in 2010. Manning served seven years of a 35 year prison sentence for her leak before receiving a commutation from then-President Barack Obama.
Outside court before the hearing, Manning said she was prepared to go to jail.
“These secret proceedings tend to favor the government,” Manning said. “I’m always willing to explain things publicly.”
Manning’s attorney, Moira Meltzer-Cohen, said it would be “an act of tremendous cruelty” to send the transgender ex-private to jail given medical and safety concerns.
Prosecutor Tracy McCormick said the jail has experience handling both transgender inmates and public figures.
“The government does not want to confine Ms. Manning,” McCormick said. “She could change her mind right now and decide to testify.”
Hilton said any medical concerns Manning has should be addressed with the U.S. Marshals, but that the court was available if she has problems.