Following a week-long release from an Alexandria, Virginia detention center, Chelsea Manning is back in jail. Manning was jailed in March for her refusal to cooperate with a grand jury investigation into WikiLeaks.
Manning has made her position on the grand jury well known and refuses to cooperate with its proceedings on principle. Her release last week came as the grand jury that issued her a subpoena in January expired, though the grand jury that issued Manning her latest subpoena won’t expire for another 18 months.
“We are of course disappointed with the outcome of today’s hearing, but I anticipate it will be exactly as coercive as the previous sanction — which is to say not at all,” Manning’s attorney Moira Meltzer-Cohen said of the day’s events.
A former intelligence analyst for the U.S. Army, Manning leaked more than 250,000 diplomatic cables, a large body of military field reports and harrowing footage of U.S. airstrikes to the secret-sharing organization WikiLeaks in 2010. Manning was convicted of most of the more than 20 charges against, but President Obama commuted her sentence before leaving office.
After her release last week, Manning shared a YouTube video in providing a bit of insight about why she objects to grand juries on moral grounds.
She doesn’t appear likely to back down. Aware of that, Judge Anthony Trenga made the unusual choice to fine Manning $500 for each day she remains uncooperative and in custody, starting after 30 days. After 60 days, that amount will increase to $1000 per day. Prior to her brief period of freedom in the last week, Manning spent two months jailed, a portion of which was served in solitary confinement like conditions, according to her legal team.
“Grand Juries and prosecutions like this one broadcast an expanding threat to the press and function to undermine the integrity of the system according to the government’s own laws,” Meltzer-Cohen said.
During her brief interlude walking free, Manning streamed Apex Legends and Red Dead Redemption 2 on Twitch.
WikiLeaks founder charged with hacking, now faces US extradition