Chelsea Manning renews effort to end jail term in Virginia

Virginia News

FILE – In this Nov. 9, 2017, file photo, Chelsea Manning attends the 22nd Annual OUT100 Celebration Gala at the Altman Building in New York. Former intelligence analyst Manning is again asking a judge to let her out of jail. Her lawyers filed a motion seeking her release Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, in federal court in Alexandria, Va. The lawyers say Manning has shown during 11 months of incarceration that she can’t be coerced into testifying. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — Former intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning is again asking a judge to let her out of jail.

In a motion filed Wednesday in federal court in Alexandria, Manning’s lawyers argue that Manning has shown during 11 months of incarceration that she can’t be coerced into testifying before a grand jury.

Manning has been in jail since May for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating Wikileaks. She spent an additional two months in jail earlier in 2019 for refusing to testify to a separate grand jury.

Manning could face another seven months of jail time unless she agrees to testify. The civil contempt citation is designed to coerce her testimony. But her lawyers argue that the jail term should end now, since she has shown that her principles will not allow her to be coerced.

Federal prosecutors have maintained that Manning can easily effect her own release by complying with the grand jury subpoena. They say she has the same duty to provide testimony that all citizens face.

A hearing on Manning’s request has not yet been scheduled.

Manning is also seeking relief from more than $250,000 in fines that are being imposed at a rate of $1,000 a day for her refusal to testify. Her lawyers say that Manning has no earning power to meet that kind of a fine, and that plans for her to write an autobiography have been disrupted by her incarceration and made a book project less financially viable.

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