Chelsea Manning Petition Hits White House Threshold

Administration has 60 days to respond
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2016 12:01 AM CST
Chelsea Manning Petition Hits White House Threshold
Chelsea Manning is seen in this photo provided by the US Army.   (US Army via AP, File)

A petition urging President Obama to commute Chelsea Manning's sentence to time served has passed the 100,000-signature threshold that may require an official response from the White House—though Obama is only going to be there for another 38 days. "We did it! Thank you so much for your love and support," Manning's official account tweeted after the threshold was passed. "I don't know what to say. I am just grateful that I am not forgotten," she said in another post, per NBC News. According to the petition, the transgender soldier, who is six years into a 35-year sentence in military prison, "has already served more time in prison than any individual in United States history who disclosed information in the public interest," and "her disclosures harmed no one."

There was no immediate response from the White House on the call to free Manning, who was arrested in 2010 for passing hundreds of thousands of documents to WikiLeaks, the New York Daily News reports. Last month, Manning filed a request for clemency from Obama, saying she "did not intend to harm the interests of the United States or harm any service members." But even though the petition threshold has been passed, the White House might choose not to respond, according to the Law Newz blog. The White House may cite a caveat on the "We the People" website that allows it to avoid responding to petitions where there could be "improper influence" on "adjudicatory matters." The Obama administration could also just allow the clock to run out, and it is far from clear what the Trump administration plans to do about pending petitions. (More Chelsea Manning stories.)

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