- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Fines imposed on WikiLeaks source Chelsea Manning were due to double Tuesday to $1,000 a day as she remains imprisoned for refusing to cooperate with federal prosecutors.

Manning, a former Army analyst, was found in civil contempt on May 16 for defying a court order requiring her to testify before a grand jury empaneled as part of the government’s criminal investigation into the WikiLeaks website and its publication of classified U.S. documents.

She was consequently ordered jailed by U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga, an appointee of former President George W. Bush, “until such time as she purges herself of contempt or for the life of the grand jury, but in no event longer than 18 months.”

The judge’s ruling also ordered Manning, 31, to start facing monetary sanctions for remaining mum.

The ruling, issued from federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, ordered Manning to incur a daily conditional fine of $500 starting June 15 for refusing to testify. That penalty was set to double after 60 days, per the judge’s order.

Manning has already been fined $15,000 as a result of being found in contempt, according to a Twitter account run by her supporters. Her legal team estimates she could ultimately end up facing penalties of more than $440,000, the account tweeted Tuesday.

Manning previously claimed that she cannot afford to pay the mounting court fines, and that her testimony is unneeded since the Department of Justice has already charged WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange with crimes related to published classified military and diplomatic material she provided.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, the U.S. attorney for Alexandria, countered last month that Manning’s testimony remains “essential” to an ongoing investigation of charges or targets not included in the Justice Department’s indictment brought against Mr. Assange.

Manning admittedly leaked a trove of classified material to WikiLeaks while serving as an Army intelligence analyst, and she served seven years in military prison for related convictions before being released in 2017.

Mr. Assange, 48, is jailed in London, fighting extradition to the U.S.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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