Chelsea Manning – yes, that Chelsea Manning – has been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia.
Speculation is that the subpoena relates to WikiLeaks and Julian Assange.
Here are the early reports:
Politico had more on the story:
Lawyers for convicted WikiLeaks source Chelsea Manning are asking a federal court to block a grand jury subpoena she received in what her supporters believe is a federal investigation into WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Manning’s attorneys filed the motion Friday morning in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., a spokesperson for Manning said. The motion was put under seal and no information about it was immediately available from the court clerk’s office.
The subpoena sent to Manning in January does not specify any crimes or particular investigation, but it was issued at the request of a federal prosecutor assigned to handle the fallout from an error that led to the disclosure late last year of the strongest indication so far that Assange is the subject of sealed criminal charges in the U.S.
In a statement Friday, Manning blasted the process and said she plans to fight the subpoena, which was first reported by The New York Times.
“The grand jury process, mired in secrecy, is troubling. The proceedings take place behind closed doors, without a judge or defense attorney, which makes them susceptible to abuse,” Manning said. “I have nothing to contribute to this case, and I will not endanger myself or the activist communities I've organized with since leaving prison. I stand in solidarity with all grand jury resisters, who have refused to participate in this predatory and deceitful practice."
Manning’s supporters said Friday they suspect the effort to question her is retaliation for President Barack Obama’s decision — days before leaving office in 2017 — to commute Manning’s sentence for leaking hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables, military reports, videos and other materials to WikiLeaks.
Obama triggered Manning’s release by reducing the 35-year prison sentence to a few months more than the six years she had already served. Republican lawmakers and some top national security officials opposed the commutation, but White House officials said the president thought the lengthy sentence a military judge issued after a court-martial was disproportionate to those imposed in other leak cases.
“The subpoena is likely a retaliatory move stemming from the very public executive resentment at Chelsea’s release,” a Manning spokesperson said.
A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Alexandria declined to comment.
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