- The Washington Times
Monday, April 22, 2019

Former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning must remain in jail for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange, a federal appeals court ruled Monday.

In a unanimous ruling, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Richmond said it found no fault with a federal judge’s decision last month to hold Ms. Manning in contempt of court.

Ms. Manning refused to answer questions in the ongoing probe of Mr. Assange and Wikileaks and has been held in the Alexandria Detention Center since March 8.

“Upon consideration of the memorandum briefs filed on appeal and the record of proceedings in the district court, the court finds no error in the district court’s rulings and affirms its finding of civil contempt. The court also denies the appellant’s motion for release on bail,” the appellate court panel said in its three-paragraph ruling.

The panel also rejected Ms. Manning’s argument that the judge improperly denied her request to say whether she was surveilled electronically after her 2013 conviction for leaking a trove of classified information to Wikileaks.

Ms. Manning will remain incarcerated until she agrees to answer questions in the Wikileaks investigation or the grand jury completes its work, according to the judge’s contempt ruling.

Ms. Manning called the ruling “disappointing.”

“I don’t have anything to contribute to this or any other grand jury,” she said in a statement. “While I miss home, they can continue to hold me in jail with all the harmful consequences that it brings. I will not give up.”

Her lawyers also had argued that she told authorities everything she knew during her court-martial investigation and that her incarceration is unnecessarily cruel because the jail is unable to provide adequate medical care in connection with gender-reassignment surgery Ms. Manning underwent.

Prosecutors said they believe Ms. Manning, who was granted immunity for her grand jury testimony, may have more to say about her interactions with Wikileaks than has been previously disclosed, and that she is out of line for disrupting the grand-jury process simply on her speculation that she is being singled out for harassment.

They also said that the jail has gone out of its way to accommodate her medical needs.

Prosecutors have called Ms. Manning’s leak to Wikileaks one of the largest compromises of classified information in U.S. history.

Monday’s opinion was issued by Judges Allyson Duncan, a George W. Bush appointee; Paul Niemeyer, a George H.W. Bush appointee; and Robert King, a Bill Clinton appointee.

⦁ This article is based in part on wire service reports.

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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