- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 17, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Latest on commutations and pardons issued by President Barack Obama on Tuesday (all times EST):

6:15 p.m.

WikiLeaks says President Barack Obama may have saved Chelsea Manning’s life by granting the former Army intelligence analyst clemency, but the decision doesn’t make up for the harm Manning has suffered.

The statement came after Obama announced Tuesday that Manning would be released May 17, cutting her sentence by almost 30 years.

In a tweet soon after the announcement, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange thanked “everyone who campaigned for Chelsea Manning’s clemency. Your courage & determination made the impossible possible.”

Assange didn’t mention his earlier pledge that he would agree to U.S. extradition if Obama granted clemency to Manning.

But Melinda Taylor, who serves on Assange’s legal team, says, “Everything that he has said he’s standing by.”


6:05 p.m.

House Speaker Paul Ryan is calling President Barack Obama’s decision to commute Chelsea Manning’s sentence “just outrageous.”

Ryan says the former Army intelligence analyst who leaked classified documents “put American lives at risk and exposed some of our nation’s most sensitive secrets.”

The White House says Manning is one of 209 inmates whose sentences Obama is shortening.

Ryan says Obama is setting “a dangerous precedent that those who compromise our national security won’t be held accountable for their crimes.”


5:55 p.m.

The lawyer who represented Chelsea Manning during her trial for leaking classified government and military documents says he is stunned and elated to know she will be released soon.

The White House announced Tuesday that President Barack Obama is commuting Manning’s 35-year sentence.

David Coombs tells The Associated Press he is “looking forward to seeing Chelsea on the outside as a free woman in the very near future.”

Coombs says he has not spoken to Manning and isn’t sure she knows yet. But he says he spoke with her family to alert them to the decision.

He says they have not discussed her future because he doesn’t “think anyone actually believed this day would come.”


5:20 p.m.

U.S. President Barack Obama has commuted the sentence of 74-year-old Puerto Rican nationalist Oscar Lopez Rivera.

Lopez was sentenced to 55 years in prison for his role in the struggle for independence for the U.S. island territory. Puerto Ricans have long called for Lopez’s release, a move that has been opposed by a national police organization, among others.

Lopez belonged to the ultranationalist Armed Forces of National Liberation. The group has claimed responsibility for more than 100 bombings at public and commercial buildings in U.S. cities, including New York, Chicago and Washington, during the 1970s and ‘80s.

Lopez attorney Jan Susler told The Associated Press that she broke the news to him Tuesday and he said he was extremely grateful.


4:20 p.m.

President Barack Obama is commuting the prison sentence of Chelsea Manning, the former Army intelligence analyst who leaked classified documents.

The White House says Manning is one of 209 inmates whose sentences Obama is shortening.

Manning is more than six years into a 35-year sentence for leaking classified government and military documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. Her sentence is now set to expire May 17.

She was known as Bradley Manning at the time of her 2010 arrest and attempted suicide twice last year.

Obama is also pardoning 64 people, including retired Gen. James Cartwright, who was charged with making false statements during a probe into disclosure of classified information.

Most of the other people receiving commutations were serving sentences for nonviolent drug offenses.

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