Punitive Risks from Opaque Grand Jury Echo Trump Administration Resentment Towards Manning and President Obama’s Decision to Commute her Sentence
Alexandria, VA — This morning a judge in the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA) denied a motion filed by Chelsea Manning’s attorneys to quash a subpoena compelling grand jury testimony from Chelsea. Chelsea and her attorneys plan to utilize every available avenue to challenge this subpoena. Chelsea has been compelled to come back to court tomorrow. Following today’s events Chelsea’s support committee, Chelsea Resists!, has issued a solidarity statement:
“Today we stand in solidarity with Chelsea Manning, and her fight against the dangerous and undemocratic grand jury system. Grand juries operate in secret, allowing the government to retaliate against activists and dissidents behind closed doors.
“This case is no exception. By demanding that Chelsea testify and keeping the basic facts of this grand jury under seal, the government today denied the public’s right to see this oppressive process in the light of day.
“Donald Trump and his administration have publicly declared their disdain for Chelsea, and for President Obama’s decision to commute her sentence. Chelsea has stood by the testimony from her 2013 court martial, and this subpoena serves no legitimate purpose. It is a punitive effort to reverse Obama’s legacy, exposing Chelsea to legal hardship and possible imprisonment.
“Even further, this case has profound 1st Amendment implications. It threatens to erode the rights of journalists who publish information in the public interest. The grand jury could also subject Chelsea’s activist networks to intrusive surveillance for engaging in lawfully-protected activity.
“By challenging this subpoena, Chelsea joins dozens of activists who have refused to jeopardize themselves and their communities. After seven years of imprisonment and torture, Chelsea has suffered enough. We demand an end to this vindictive fishing expedition, and the abolition of the repressive grand jury system. #LeaveChelseaAlone!”
Chelsea Manning is represented by Moira Meltzer-Cohen, appellate attorney Vincent Ward, and local counsel Chris Leibig and Sandra Freeman.
All are encouraged to support Chelsea any way they can. To learn more about Chelsea Resists or to donate to Chelsea’s legal defense visit: https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/chelsea-manning-needs-legal-funds-to-resist-a-grand-jury-subpoena
Questions regarding Chelsea Manning’s support committee should be directed to ChelseaResists@protonmail.com