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Appeals Court: Judge Who Threw Chelsea Manning in Jail Made ‘No Error’


An appeals court has ruled that Chelsea Manning, the former U.S. Army intelligence analyst who was infamously convicted of violating the Espionage Act by disclosing thousands of “classified (and unclassified but ‘sensitive’) documents” to WikiLeaks, shall remain in jail for the foreseeable future. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Monday that a lower court did not err by holding Manning in contempt of court.

Manning was subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia and refused to do so. We’ve since learned that the government wants Manning to testify against Julian Assange. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced that Assange was being charged for conspiracy to commit computer intrusion, and alleged that Assange helped Manning hack government computers, tried to hide Manning’s role in leaks, and encouraged Manning to do more leaking.

Before the Assange charges were revealed, U.S. District Court Judge Claude Hilton decided that Manning should remain jailed for the length of the grand jury or until she agrees to testify.

Manning’s legal team claimed that Hilton erred, arguing that he failed to “actually consider the evidence.”

“Rarely does a judge deny a motion without doing so explicitly or making any actual rulings or statements about any of the legal issues brought before the court,” they said.

The appeals court argued the exact opposite.

“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 appellant’s motion for release on bail,” it said.

[Image via Jack Taylor/Getty Images]

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.