After serving seven years of a 35-year sentence, the person who gave classified information to WikiLeaks has been released from prison. Bradley Manning, now known as Chelsea Manning, received a commuted sentence from President Obama.
President Trump during his campaign called Manning an “ungrateful traitor” and said she “should never have been released from prison.” Manning was serving time at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.
Army officials confirmed Manning will remain on unpaid, active-duty status as she continues to appeal her court-martial. She will continue to have access to military medical benefits. Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison on 20 counts, including violations of the Espionage Act.
Chelsea Manning sent out a tweet sharing her excitement about her release. Amnesty International has been a strong supporter for Manning and had fought for her release and released a statement praising her freedom but also demanding investigations into human rights violations.
The decision to commute Manning’s sentence by President Obama received strong criticism from intelligence officials and Republicans. However, Manning’s legal team disagreed with them. “Chelsea has already served the longest sentence of any whistleblower in the history of this country. It has been far too long, too severe, too draconian,” they said.