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In her first interview since being released from federal jail, Chelsea Manning said that President Trump “clearly wants to go after journalists.”
“We're probably going to see indictments and charges,” Manning told CNN’s Brian Stelter Sunday. “Whenever a journalist makes a misstep, I think that they are put on notice now that the FBI and the Department of Justice are going to go after them on the administration's behalf.”
Manning — a U.S. whistleblower and activist responsible for releasing thousands of military documents to WikiLeaks in 2010 — recently spent 62 days in jail, largely in solitary confinement, after refusing to answer questions before a grand jury about WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange. He’s currently facing extradition to the U.S. for allegedly attempting to hack into Pentagon computers with Manning.
Manning said she already told the courts everything she knew when she testified in 2013 and did not approve of the secretive judicial process. The former U.S. Army intelligence analyst was only released because the grand jury’s term expired. And before she even left jail, she received a second subpoena to testify for the same purpose — which she said she’ll refuse again. That means she could be headed back to jail.
Manning and her team said they have no idea if she’ll return to prison for once again refusing to testify before the grand jury. She said that her rights were violated during the last grand jury process when prosecutors attempted to entrap her.
"I think that we have a much stronger case in terms of, like, the legal objections, which the previous judge didn't — refused to even hear,” Manning told Stelter. “He refused to even hear or act on the motions. He just simply placed me in contempt and ignored our motions."
As one of his final acts as president, Barack Obama commuted Manning’s 35-year prison sentence for espionage after she had served just 7 years. In 2010, she leaked a cache of military documents to WikiLeaks, which included a video that showed a U.S. military attack in Baghdad that killed dozens, including two journalists.
Cover image: In this May 2, 2018, file photo, Chelsea Manning attends a discussion at the media convention "Republica" in Berlin. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, File)