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Chelsea Manning Sent to Jail for Contempt of Court

Judge says she won't get out until she testifies or grand jury finishes work
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 8, 2019 10:16 AM CST
Updated Mar 8, 2019 2:30 PM CST
In this Tuesday photo, Chelsea Manning addresses the media outside federal court in Alexandria, Va.   (AP Photo/Matthew Barakat)
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(Newser) – On Thursday, Chelsea Manning said she'd stand her ground and refuse to testify in front of a secret grand jury investigating WikiLeaks. "I am prepared to face the consequences of my refusal," she said in a statement. Those consequences came Friday, with Manning taken into custody after US District Judge Claude Hilton found her in contempt of court and ordered her sent to jail until either she agrees to answer the grand jury's questions or the grand jury wraps up its work, ABC News reports. Manning is now in the women's wing of the federal detention center in Alexandria, Virginia, reports the New York Times. The details:

  • Why: Manning, 31, has refused to testify because she says she already said everything she knew during her court martial ("I've given voluminous testimony"), and because she doesn't like how hush-hush this grand jury process has been. “These secret proceedings tend to favor the government,” she said before the hearing, per the Washington Post. “I’m always willing to explain things publicly.”
  • How long? CNN reports that Manning can be held for the duration of the grand jury but not longer than 18 months. Asked whether her client was ready to be imprisoned 18 months, attorney Moira Meltzer-Cohen said, "We are not there yet." Meltzer-Cohen, who had asked the judge to consider home confinement instead of jail, is expected to appeal the order.

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