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Chelsea Manning jailed for failing to answer grand jury about WikiLeaks

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March 8 (UPI) — Whistle-blower Chelsea Manning was sent to jail Friday for refusing to answer questions from a grand jury about the release of WikiLeaks documents she leaked in 2010.

Manning, a transgender former U.S. Army intelligence analyst named Bradley Manning, said Friday she was “prepared to face the consequences” of the contempt hearing in January. An attorney for Manning said an appeal of the contempt citation is likely.

She has said she doesn’t believe in the grand jury process and wouldn’t answer questions from a secret grand jury about the WikiLeaks case.

“I responded to each question with the following statement: ‘I object to the question and refuse to answer on the grounds that the question is in violation of my First, Fourth, and Sixth Amendment, and other statutory rights,” Manning said in a statement. “All of the substantive questions pertained to my disclosures of information to the public in 2010 – answers I provided in extensive testimony, during my court-martial in 2013.”

The judge ordered Manning to stay in jail until either she answers questions or the grand jury finishes investigating, which her attorneys said could be 18 months away.

Manning was originally sentenced to 35 years in prison for the unauthorized disclosure of classified materials to WikiLeaks in 2010. The documents included diplomatic communications and a video from 2007 of a U.S. helicopter firing at civilians as it flew over Baghdad. The attack killed two news photographers and injured two children.

President Barack Obama commuted her sentence in 2017 and she was released.

Supporters have called the proceeding political retribution by the Trump administration. The group Chelsea Resists! called the grand jury system “dangerous and undemocratic.”

“Grand juries operate in secret, allowing the government to retaliate against activists and dissidents behind closed doors,” the group said in a statement. “Donald Trump and his administration have publicly declared their disdain for Chelsea, and for President Obama‘s decision to commute her sentence.

“Chelsea has stood by the testimony from her 2013 court-martial, and this subpoena serves no legitimate purpose. It is a punitive effort to reverse Obama‘s legacy, exposing Chelsea to legal hardship and possible imprisonment.”

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