- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 7, 2019

WikiLeaks source Chelsea Manning said Thursday that she anticipates being jailed as a result of refusing to testify before a federal grand jury in Alexandria, Virginia.

Manning, a 31-year-old former Army intelligence analyst, said that she declined to answer questions from federal prosecutors this week about her disclosures to WikiLeaks, a website published by Australian-born activist Julian Assange. A judge will decide Friday whether to find her in contempt.

“Yesterday, I appeared before a secret grand jury after being given immunity for my testimony. All of the substantive questions pertained to my disclosures of information to the public in 2010—answers I provided in extensive testimony, during my court-martial in 2013,” Manning said in a statement.

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Manning responded to each question with the same statement, she said: “I object to the question and refuse to answer on the grounds that the question is in violation of my First, Fourth, and Sixth Amendment and other statutory rights.”

“On Friday, I will return to federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, for a closed contempt hearing. A judge will consider the legal grounds for my refusal to answer questions in front of a grand jury. The court may find me in contempt, and order me to jail,” said Manning.

“In solidarity with many activists facing the odds, I will stand by my principles. I will exhaust every legal remedy available. My legal team continues to challenge the secrecy of these proceedings, and I am prepared to face the consequences of my refusal,” she added.

Manning was arrested in 2010 while deployed near Baghdad, Iraq. She was ultimately convicted by an Army judge and sentenced to 35 years in prison, but the bulk of that punishment was commuted by former President Barack Obama during his last days in office.

Mr. Assange, 47, entered the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in 2012 in lieu of surrendering to authorities and risking extradition to the United States, where he believes he will face repercussions for publishing state secret through WikiLeaks, including material sourced by Manning years earlier.

Joshua Stueve, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Alexandria, declined to comment.

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