President Barack Obama will commute the majority of Chelsea Manning’s sentence.
Manning will be released May 17, 2017 instead of her scheduled release in 2045, the White House announced Tuesday. Manning was convicted and sentenced in 2013 for releasing hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks. The cables caused an international diplomatic embarrassment of the U.S.
Manning’s lawyer confirmed the news on Twitter Tuesday:
White House press secretary Josh Earnest admitted Manning leaked cables that were “damaging to national security.” Manning’s clemency application maintained her belief that she was unfairly sentenced to such a long period in prison saying, “I have never made any excuses for what I did. I pleaded guilty without the protection of a plea agreement because I believed the military justice system would understand my motivation for the disclosure and sentence me fairly. I was wrong.”
“Chelsea Manning is somebody who went through the military criminal justice process, was exposed to due process, was found guilty, was sentenced for her crimes, and she acknowledged wrongdoing,” said Earnest. “Mr. Snowden fled into the arms of an adversary, and has sought refuge in a country that most recently made a concerted effort to undermine confidence in our democracy.”
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