Obama Is Reportedly Considering Commuting Chelsea Manning’s 35 Year Sentence

A source at the Justice Department has revealed that Chelsea Manning, the former Army intelligence analyst serving a 35-year sentence for leaking classified material, is high on Obama‘s shortlist for a possible commutation.

That’s pretty huge – Manning has already served six years, and despite Donald Trump‘s newfound love for certain leakers, it looked pretty unlikely that he would commute this particular sentence. It is expected that a decision could come as soon as today.
Manning’s appeal lawyer, Nancy Hollander, has said it is time for Obama to act on this:
Chelsea has already been incarcerated longer than any other whistleblower. She is fragile. The army has an obligation to care for its soldiers yet has utterly failed her. It has failed to take care of her, and it is still failing to do so, and it needs to let her out.

Edward Snowden joined the chorus of calls for clemency:

Some in the intelligence community have come out to say that the harsh sentence impose don Manning does not reflect actual damage done by the leaks, which was the argument made by the prosecution. According to NBC, they have been approached by four intelligence officers supporting this revised claim:
Four former and current Army intelligence officers told NBC News the documents leaked by Manning pale in significance to highly classified top secret material released by Snowden. The officers, who would not allow their names to be used, said the Manning sentence seems excessive.

Until he leaves office, Obama has the power to commute sentences. This does not mean that the conviction is quashed entirely – merely that the sentence is reduced.

Source: The Guardian.
Photo: Getty Images.