Chelsea Manning Jailed for Refusing to Testify on WikiLeaks
Former Army intelligence analyst refuses to testify to grand jury investigating WikiLeaks
Former Army private Chelsea Manning is back in U.S. federal custody, after being jailed for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks and Julian Assange.
U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton of the in Eastern Virginia Court ordered Manning's imprisonment Friday "after a brief hearing in which Manning confirmed she has no intention of testifying," according to the Associated Press.
The order to send Manning to jail is under seal, but the judge issued the sanction against the military whistleblower in open court, the clerk's office said in a statement.
Hilton remanded Manning to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service after the former intelligence analyst refused to testify.
Manning reportedly objects to the secrecy of the grand jury process, claiming to have already revealed everything during a court-martial.
The judge said Manning will remain jailed until willing to testify or until the grand jury concludes its work.
Manning's lawyers had asked that their client is sent to home confinement instead of the jail, due to medical complications.
According to SF Gate, the judge said U.S. marshals can handle are able to provide medical care.
Prosecutor Tracy McCormick said the jail and the marshals have assured the government that Manning's medical needs can be met.
Manning anticipated being jailed, and in a statement before Friday's hearing, revealed a plan to invoke the First, Fourth and Sixth amendment protections when appearing before the grand jury in Alexandria on Wednesday.
Manning declared that every substantive question was already answered during a 2013 court-martial, and is prepared to face the consequences of refusing to answer again.
"In solidarity with many activists facing the odds, I will stand by my principles. I will exhaust every legal remedy available," the ex-army whistleblower said.
Manning served seven years of a 35-year military sentence for leaking a trove of military and diplomatic documents to the anti-secrecy website before the sentence was commuted by then-President Barack Obama.
McCormick said Manning can easily end this incarceration on the civil charge simply by following the law and testifying.
"We hope she changes her mind now," McCormick said.
Manning's lawyer, Moira Meltzer-Cohen, said she believes jailing Manning is an act of cruelty given the medical issues, and said Manning's one-bedroom apartment would be a sufficient manner of confinement.
Outside the courthouse, about 10 protesters rallied in support of Chelsea Manning.
"Obviously prison is a terrible place," Meltzer-Cohen said.
"I don't see the purpose to incarcerate people."
The Wikileaks investigation has been ongoing for a long time.
Last year, prosecutors in Alexandria inadvertently disclosed that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is facing unspecified, sealed criminal charges in the district.
Wikileaks also has emerged as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into alleged Russian meddling into the 2016 presidential election.
Investigators are now focusing on whether President Donald Trump's campaign knew Wikileaks was planning to publish leaked emails from Democratic organizations, including presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's campaign.