The Slatest

Chelsea Manning Released From Jail After 62 Days

Close-up of Chelsea Manning.
Whistleblower and activist Chelsea Manning speaks at the annual re:publica conference on May 2, 2018, in Berlin. Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Chelsea Manning was released from federal prison Thursday after being held for 62 days for refusing to testify in the grand jury investigation into WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Manning was released, her lawyers said, when the grand jury expired, but has been subpoenaed to appear again before a new grand jury on May 16. That means she could return to jail if she continues to refuse to comply, which she said she’s committed to doing.

Manning’s grand jury appearance is in relation to whether Assange conspired to help the former Army intelligence analyst to break a password that would allow her to access the Defense Department network anonymously.* The 31-year-old leaked hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks in 2010, rejected prosecutors’ immunity offer, and was jailed in March for contempt of court. Civil contempt, however, is meant to be coercive rather than punitive, and her lawyers could claim the government putting her back in jail would veer from coercive into punitive ground.

Manning has maintained that she has nothing new to add beyond her testimony during her 2013 trial. In recent court filings, however, prosecutors indicate they believe she has been inconsistent in her characterization of her relationship with Assange.

Correction, May 10, 2019: This post originally misstated that Manning was an officer. She was an intelligence analyst.