Manning vows to refuse to cooperate with grand jury investigation after contempt order

Manning vows to refuse to cooperate with grand jury investigation after contempt order
© Getty Images

Chelsea ManningChelsea Elizabeth ManningBiden DOJ to continue to seek Assange extradition Pardon talk intensifies as Trump approaches final 24 hours in office The Hill's Morning Report - An inauguration like no other MORE said in new court filings on Monday that she will refuse to cooperate with a grand jury investigation on WikiLeaks after an appeals court denied her request to overturn a contempt of court order.

In an affidavit filed by her attorneys in the Eastern District of Virginia, Manning condemned grand juries as “outdated tools used by the federal government to harass and disrupt political opponents and activists in fishing expeditions.”

“After two months of confinement, and using every legal mechanism available so far, I can - without any hesitation - state that nothing that will convince me to testify before this or any other grand jury for that matter,” she said.


She also claimed that she was housed separately from the general population during the initial weeks she was in prison, causing significant harm to her mental health. And Manning said she is unable to receive proper treatment and medical care after undergoing gender confirmation surgery in October.

Manning said the demand to testify before the grand jury “forces me to choose between an unethical decision and suffering intimate and permanent consequences for doing the right thing.”

“I am not willing to compromise for my own physical benefit,” she said.

Attorneys for Manning also filed a motion on Monday requesting that she be released from the federal facility.

"The only lawful purpose for her confinement is to coerce her to give testimony," the filing reads. "Because her confinement is not serving and will never serve any coercive purpose, it has become punitive, and the Court must terminate the order of confinement."

Manning has been held in federal prison since March, when a federal judge ordered her in contempt of court for refusing to testify in the WikiLeaks case.

Manning was convicted in 2013 of leaking classified materials to WikiLeaks and served seven years of a 35-year sentence before former President Obama commuted her sentence in 2017.

A recently unsealed criminal charge against WikiLeaks founder Julian AssangeJulian Paul AssangeBiden DOJ to continue to seek Assange extradition Assange, Snowden among those not included on Trump pardon list Trump grants clemency to more than 100 people, including Bannon MORE alleges that he sought to help Manning crack the password to a computer on a Defense Department network containing classified materials. It’s unclear from court filings whether the password was successfully compromised.

Assange, who was evicted from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London last month and arrested by U.K. authorities at the request of the U.S., is vowing to fight extradition to the U.S.