Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Chelsea Manning

Chelsea Manning, seen here during a talk on March 29, 2018. (Photo: Fredrik Lundhag/flickr/cc)

'To Punish an Outspoken Whistleblower,' Chelsea Manning Subpoeaned to Testify Before Grand Jury

Subpoeana likely related to WikiLeaks' Julian Assange

Andrea Germanos

Chelsea Manning's advocates are decrying what they they see as the Trump administration trying "to punish an outspoken whistleblower" following the revelation that she'd been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury.

Manning, whose 35-year sentence for exposing U.S. war crimes was commuted in 2017, said she plans on fighting the subpoena.

"Chelsea gave voluminous testimony during her court martial. She has stood by the truth of her prior statements, and there is no legitimate purpose to having her rehash them before a hostile grand jury."
—Chelsea Resists support committee
The demand to appear before a federal grand jury on March 5, the New York Times reported, "was issued in the Eastern District of Virginia and comes after prosecutors inadvertently disclosed in November that Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, has been charged under seal in that district."

There were "multiple reasons to believe that the subpoena is related to the investigation of Mr. Assange," Times added, including that fact that it came from federal attorney for the Eastern District Gordon D. Kromberg, who previously argued successfully for the federal government that the criminal charge against Assange should stay sealed.

"Moreover," the Times continues, Manning said that

Mr. Kromberg has told her lawyers in vague terms that prosecutors wanted to talk to her about her past statements. During her court-martial, Ms. Manning delivered a lengthy statement about how she came to copy archives of secret documents and send them to WikiLeaks, including her online interactions with someone who was likely Mr. Assange.

As such, the subpoena, according to journalist Glenn Greenwald, "shows that the Trump DOJ—as they've repeatedly vowed—is extremely serious about prosecuting WikiLeaks & Assange for publication of documents, which would pose a grave threat to press freedoms."

The newly-created Chelsea Resists support committee, meanwhile, argued that by "serving Chelsea Manning with a grand jury subpoena, the government is attempting once again to punish an outspoken whistleblower for her historic disclosures."

"Grand juries are notoriously mired in secrecy, and have historically been used to silence and retaliate against political activists," the committee added. "Their indiscriminate nature means the government can attempt to artificially coerce a witness into perjury or contempt. Chelsea gave voluminous testimony during her court martial. She has stood by the truth of her prior statements, and there is no legitimate purpose to having her rehash them before a hostile grand jury."

The support network, which notes that Manning "risked so much for public good," is raising funds to support her legal defense fund. 


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Warnock Defeats Walker in Georgia, Giving Democrats 51-49 Senate Majority

"Tonight, the people—young, Black, Brown, and working people—expanded the Senate majority, neutralized the power of Joe Manchin, and defeated yet another fascist," the Sunrise Movement cheered.

Brett Wilkins ·


'About Damn Time': NY Jury Finds Trump Organization Guilty on All Counts of Tax Fraud

"Today's guilty verdict against the Trump Organization shows that we will hold individuals and organizations accountable when they violate our laws to line their pockets," said New York Attorney General Letitia James.

Brett Wilkins ·


Oxfam Rebukes EU Over Delayed Deal on Global Minimum Corporate Tax

"This is a loss to ordinary people who are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis and a win to the ultra-profitable corporations," said the group's tax expert for the bloc.

Jessica Corbett ·


Global Biodiversity Summit Called 'Make-or-Break Moment' for Wildlife

"The deluded dreams of billionaires aside, there is no Planet B," said U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres. "We must fix the world we have."

Julia Conley ·


Congressional Progressives, Climate Activists Rally Against Manchin's 'Dirty Deal'

"As if spending $847 billion on the military-industrial complex wasn't bad enough," said Rep. Rashida Tlaib, "now they want to add sacrificing frontline communities for polluter profits to the package?"

Brett Wilkins ·

Common Dreams Logo