Court Orders Chelsea Manning Released From Jail One Day After Suicide Attempt: Testimony 'No Longer Needed'
from the what-a-waste dept
A year ago, the DOJ subpoenaed Chelsea Manning to appear before a grand jury and provide testimony as it was building its case against Julian Assange, who was subsequently indicted on a very questionable basis. Manning refused to comply with the subpoena, and was put in jail for contempt of court. Many people — even some supporters of Manning — seemed split on this move, noting that complying with a lawful subpoena, especially regarding a situation where all information had been previously provided and in which the target is already indicted, is different than being asked to cough up private info. But, given the context of Manning’s earlier incarceration and commutation, the whole effort seemed somewhat vindictive.
As reporter Dell Cameron pointed out, the DOJ already has all the details of Manning’s conversations with Assange. It’s difficult to see what more it needed to get from her. And yet, she sat in jail. And considering her history with possible suicide attempts, it seemed (tragically) that being confined again could be incredibly damaging to her. Indeed, yesterday it was reported that she attempted suicide once again.
Incredibly, just a day later, the court has ordered her released from jail, noting that her appearance “is no longer needed.”
Upon consideration of the Court’s May 16, 2019 Order, the Motion, and the Court’s March 12, 2020 Order discharging Grand Jury 19-3, the Court finds that Ms. Manning’s appearance before the Grand Jury is no longer needed, in light of which her detention no longer serves any coercive purpose. The Court further finds that enforcement of the accrued, conditional fines would not be punitive but rather necessary to the coercive purpose of the Court’s civil contempt order.
The fact that the grand jury has been disbanded without her testimony — and given Dell’s point earlier about the DOJ already having all the details — it makes you really question why this whole thing was necessary in the first place, because the answer sure seems to be that it wasn’t. And yet, she spent months in jail, and still now faces basically a quarter of a million in fines that the court says is just dandy. What a sham.