*Updated with video of Chelsea Manning’s statement following her release.
Chelsea Manning was released from a jail in Alexandria, Virginia, on May 9, but according to her defense attorneys, she received another subpoena to testify before the grand jury investigating WikiLeaks prior to her release.
“Today marked the expiration of the term of the grand jury, and so, after 62 days of confinement, Chelsea was released from the Alexandria Detention Center,” Manning’s defense team stated.
However, the grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia was empaneled again for another term. Manning is expected to appear before this latest iteration of the grand jury on May 16, 2019.
Manning’s legal defense declared, “It is therefore conceivable that she will once again be held in contempt of court, and be returned to the custody of the Alexandria Detention Center, possibly as soon as next Thursday, May 16.”
She wrote a declaration that was filed in a federal court in Alexandria on May 6. It made it abundantly clear that Manning would never ever testify before the grand jury.
“Despite the heartbreak and hardship, cooperation with this grand jury is simply not an option. Doing so would mean throwing away all of my principles, accomplishments, sacrifices, and erase decades of my reputations—an obvious impossibility,” Manning asserted.
She acknowledged, “I wish to return home. I want to return to my work—writing, speaking, consulting, and teaching.” But added, “The idea I hold the keys to my own cell is an absurd one, as I face the prospect of suffering either way due to this unnecessary and punitive subpoena: I can either go to jail or betray my principles. The latter exists as a much worse prison than the government can construct.”
Manning’s attorneys maintain that it is no longer necessary for prosecutors to pursue her testimony because WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was indicted and arrested. They contend the government is trying to preview potential testimony she may provide as a defense witness if Assange is brought to the United States.
She will “continue to refuse to answer questions,” according to her attorneys, “and will use every available legal defense to prove to District Judge Trenga that she has just cause for her refusal to give testimony.”