Chelsea Manning: Trump administration 'clearly wants to go after journalists'

Chelsea Manning: Trump administration 'clearly wants to go after journalists'
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Former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning said Sunday that the Trump administration "clearly" wants to go after journalists. 

"I think that the Eastern District of Virginia is now turning into a rubber stamp for all these different prosecutions," Manning, who was released from jail last week, said on CNN's "Reliable Sources" when asked about whether the prosecution of WikiLeaks founder Julian AssangeJulian Paul AssangeJudge orders Chelsea Manning's release from jail Lawyers: Chelsea Manning recovering after suicide attempt Hillicon Valley: Twitter falling short on pledge to verify primary candidates | Barr vows to make surveillance reforms after watchdog report | DHS cyber chief focused on 2020 MORE presented a threat to press freedom.


"I think that ultimately what they really want is to go after journalists. This administration clearly wants to go after journalists."

"I think if the administration gets its way, as its laid out... then I think we’re going to see national security journalists and a lot of disruptive process, we’re probably going to see indictments and charges," Manning continued.  "Whenever a journalist makes a misstep, I think they're put on notice now that the FBI and the department of justice are going to go after them on the administration’s behalf."

Manning was jailed earlier this year after refusing to testify about sending military and diplomatic secrets to WikiLeaks in 2010. She was released from jail last Thursday after the term of the grand jury she refused to testify to expired, according to her lawyers. 

But Manning could face additional jail time since she's already been served with a subpoena to testify before a different grand jury. Her lawyers said it was "conceivable" that Manning would again be held in contempt of court and return to the jail in Alexandria, Va.

"Chelsea will continue to refuse to answer questions, and will use every available legal defense to prove to District Judge Trenga that she has just cause for her refusal to give testimony," they said in a statement. 

Manning served about seven years in prison for leaking classified materials. An initial 35-year prison sentence was commuted by former President Obama. 

Manning's comments come about a month after Assange was arrested in London on behalf of U.S. authorities. The Department of Justice has said that Assange is facing charges of allegedly conspiring to hack into computers in connection with the organization's release of classified government cables from Manning.