- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 18, 2017

President Obama said Wednesday that he commuted the sentence of transgender military-secrets leaker Chelsea Manning because “justice has been served” in her case.

Chelsea Manning has served a tough prison sentence,” Mr. Obama said at his final press conference at the White House. “I felt that in light of all the circumstances that commuting her sentence was entirely appropriate.”

Mr. Obama on Tuesday ordered Manning to be released on May 17, rather than serving the rest of her term until 2045. Republican lawmakers and others blasted the move, saying it would encourage others to leak classified national security information.

The president rejected that argument, saying Manning had served about seven years.

“The notion that the average person who was thinking about disclosing vital classified information would think that it goes unpunished — I don’t think [people] would get that impression from the sentence that Chelsea Manning has served,” he said. “Due process was carried out. She took responsibility for her crime. The sentence she received was very disproportional relative to what other leakers had received. I feel very comfortable that justice has been served, and that a message has still been sent.”

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