ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — Former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, who served years in prison for leaking one of the largest troves of classified documents in U.S. history, was sent to jail Friday for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks.
U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton ordered Manning to jail for civil contempt of court after a brief hearing in federal court in Alexandria in which Manning confirmed she has no intention of testifying. She told the judge she “will accept whatever you bring upon me.”
Manning has said she objects to the secrecy of the grand jury process and already revealed everything she knows at her court-martial. She said prosecutors have granted her immunity for her testimony, which eliminates her ability to invoke her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
“I will not participate in a secret process that I morally object to, particularly one that has been used to entrap and persecute activists for protected political speech,” she said in a statement released after she was taken into custody.
The judge said she will remain jailed until she testifies or until the grand jury concludes its work.
Manning’s lawyers had asked that she be sent to home confinement instead of the jail because of complications she faces in receiving gender-affirming medical care.
The judge said U.S. marshals can handle her medical care. Prosecutor Tracy McCormick said the jail and the marshals have assured the government that her medical needs can be met.
Amy Bertsch, spokeswoman for the Alexandria jail, confirmed Friday that Manning had been booked.
“Specific details about Ms. Manning’s confinement will not be made public due to security and privacy concerns,” Alexandria Sheriff Dana Lawhorne said in a statement. “We will work closely with the U.S. Marshals to ensure her proper care while she remains at our facility.”
Manning acknowledged going into Friday’s hearing that she might well be incarcerated at its conclusion. Outside the courthouse, about 10 protesters rallied in her support.
“Obviously, prison is a terrible place,” Manning said. “I don’t see the purpose to incarcerate people.”
Manning served seven years of a 35-year military sentence for leaking a trove of military and diplomatic documents to the anti-secrecy website before then-President Barack Obama commuted her sentence.
The WikiLeaks investigation has been ongoing for a long time. Last year, prosecutors in Alexandria inadvertently disclosed that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is facing unspecified, sealed criminal charges in the district.
WikiLeaks also has emerged as an important part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible Russian meddling into the 2016 presidential election, as investigators focus on whether President Donald Trump’s campaign knew Russian hackers were going to provide emails to WikiLeaks stolen from Democratic organizations, including presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
But there is no indication that the Alexandria grand jury’s investigation of WikiLeaks is related to the Mueller investigation.
McCormick said Manning can end the incarceration on the civil charge simply by following the law and testifying.
“We hope she changes her mind now,” McCormick said.
Manning’s lawyer, Moira Meltzer-Cohen, said she believes jailing Manning is an act of cruelty given her medical issues, and said there are many documented issues of jails and prisons providing inadequate medical care for transgender inmates. She said Manning’s one-bedroom apartment would be a sufficient manner of confinement.
Meltzer-Cohen said after the hearing that the detention order can be appealed, but did not comment on whether such an appeal would be filed.
Judge Orders Parts of Mueller Report Un-Redacted In Michael Flynn Case
WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge has ordered portions of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report to be un-redacted and made public in the criminal case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan issued the limited order Thursday. Portions of the report relating to Flynn are redacted and would be made public under the order.
It is the first time a federal judge has ordered the Justice Department to make public portions of the report the agency had kept secret.
Mueller officially concluded his investigation in March. Attorney General William Barr released a redacted version of Mueller’s report in April.
Flynn is awaiting sentence after admitting to lying to the FBI about his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States.
Michael Flynn Assisted In Mueller’s Obstruction, WikiLeaks Investigations
As part of his guilty plea, President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn assisted special counsel Robert Mueller in his investigations into the Trump campaign’s discussions of WikiLeaks, as well as “potential efforts to interfere or otherwise obstruct” the special counsel, according to a new court filing.
Details: The filing, which states that Flynn is ready for sentencing, claims that the former top Trump aide informed prosecutors of multiple instances in which “either he or his lawyers received communications from persons connected to the Administration or Congress that could have affected both his willingness to cooperate and the completeness of that cooperation.” The filing also states that Flynn “provided a voicemail recording of one such communication.”
- On the WikiLeaks front, Flynn gave prosecutors statements made in 2016 by Trump campaign officials after the release of the Podesta emails in which “the prospect of reaching out to WikiLeaks was discussed.”
Why it matters: This filing suggests Flynn was a far more valuable witness to Mueller than previously known.
(Reporting by Axios)
Read the full court filing:
Senate Intelligence Committee Reaches Deal With Donald Trump Jr. For Interview
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate Intelligence Committee has struck a deal with Donald Trump Jr. to appear for a closed-door interview next month, pulling the two sides back, for now, from a confrontation over a subpoena as part of the panel’s Russia investigation.
Under the terms of the deal, according to two people familiar with the agreement, Trump Jr. will talk to the committee in mid-June for up to four hours. The people spoke on condition of anonymity Tuesday to discuss the confidential terms.
The deal comes after the panel subpoenaed President Donald Trump’s eldest son to discuss answers he gave the panel’s staff in a 2017 interview. Trump Jr. had backed out of interviews twice, prompting the subpoena, according to people familiar with Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr’s remarks to a GOP luncheon last week. Those people spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss Burr’s remarks in the private senators’ meeting.
The deadline for Trump Jr. to respond was Monday, according to one of the people familiar with the terms, and he expected to be held in contempt for declining to be interviewed. But the committee reached out Monday evening and the deal was struck.
A spokeswoman for Burr declined to comment. The North Carolina Republican has weathered fierce criticism for the subpoena from the president and his GOP colleagues.
Trump said on Tuesday said he believed that his son was being treated poorly.
“It’s really a tough situation because my son spent, I guess, over 20 hours testifying about something that Mueller said was 100 percent OK and now they want him to testify again,” Trump told reporters at the White House before traveling to Louisiana. “I don’t know why. I have no idea why. But it seems very unfair to me.”
It’s the first known subpoena of a member of the president’s immediate family, and some Republicans went as far as to say they thought Trump Jr. shouldn’t comply.
Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., tweeted, “It’s time to move on & start focusing on issues that matter to Americans.” Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, a GOP member of the panel, said he understood Trump Jr.’s frustration. Cornyn’s Texas colleague, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, said there was “no need” for the subpoena.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said on “Fox News Sunday” that if he were Trump Jr.’s lawyer, “I would tell him, ‘You don’t need to go back into this environment anymore.’”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has defended Burr, telling his colleagues during the private GOP luncheon last week that he trusted the intelligence committee chairman. On Tuesday, McConnell told reporters that “none of us tell Chairman Burr how to run his committee.”
Still, McConnell made it clear that he is eager to be finished with the probe, which has now gone on for more than two years.
Burr has “indicated publicly he believes they will find no collusion” with Russia, McConnell said. “We’re hoping we will get a report on that subject sometime soon.”
It’s uncertain when the panel will issue a final report. Burr told The Associated Press earlier this month that he hopes to be finished with the investigation by the end of the year.
The subpoena has highlighted a delicate bind facing Burr, a third-term senator who has said he is not running for reelection in 2022. He has been adamant that the panel’s Russia probe be bipartisan and fair and has worked closely with the panel’s top Democrat, Virginia Sen. Mark Warner.
Burr’s committee had renewed interest in talking to Trump Jr. after Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, told a House committee in February that he had briefed Trump Jr. approximately 10 times about a plan to build a Trump Tower in Moscow before the presidential election. Trump Jr. told the Senate Judiciary Committee in a separate interview in 2017 he was only “peripherally aware” of the proposal.
The panel is also interested in talking to the president’s eldest son about other topics, including a campaign meeting in Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer.
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