Update: Chelsea Manning Fined $500 Per Day For Grand Jury Resistance
Chelsea Manning now faces a $500 fine every day that she remains in jail and continues her resistance to the grand jury investigating WikiLeaks.
A federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, imposed fines on Manning when she was sent back to the William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center for a second time.
Manning knew a daily fine would kick in 30 days after she returned to jail. Yet, she held to her principles.
By mid-July, the fine is scheduled to increase to $1000 every day. That will last until the end of the grand jury term.
Manning could face fines that total more than $440,000.
A grand jury term can last up to 18 months. Once the term expires, prosecutors may find any reason to renew the grand jury and start it back up again, which is what the Justice Department has done since 2010 with the grand jury targeting WikiLeaks.
Manning’s legal team has challenged the fines, arguing the excessive amount may violate her Eighth Amendment rights under the Constitution.
The court never conducted an assessment to determine Manning’s financial ability to pay the fines, and she lost her housing while in jail.
Such fines, according to her legal team, are “generally reserved for corporations, which cannot be confined, and which have the capacity to absorb a fine without suffering, for example, homelessness.”
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was already indicted, and the United States government submitted its formal extradition request to the United Kingdom. Under a treaty, it cannot add charges.
There is nothing Chelsea Manning will provide that the government can use at this juncture. That she remains in jail is clear punishment intended to force her compliance so they can take advantage of the weak protections a person has in a grand jury setting (no one is allowed to have their counsel with them during questioning).
Prosecutors want to impeach or discredit Manning’s statements, which she made during her court-martial in 2013.