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GoFundMe launched to help Chelsea Manning pay quarter-million dollars in court fines

She's been fined $256,000 for refusing to testify.


Claire Goforth


Published Mar 13, 2020   Updated Mar 13, 2020, 11:15 am CDT

A friend of Chelsea Manning launched a GoFundMe to raise funds to pay the former Army intelligence analyst’s court fees.

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Yesterday, a federal judge ordered Manning be released from custody a day after being hospitalized following a reported suicide attempt. Manning had been held since last May for refusing to testify to a grand jury in the investigation of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

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In the order, the judge noted that they had dismissed the grand jury that Manning had refused to testify before, rendering her detention unnecessary.

Although Manning is now free, her silence came at a cost. After 30 days, she began being fined $500 for each day she refused to testify; after 60 days, she was fined $1,000 per day. Upon her release, the judge ordered her to pay a grand total of $256,000 in fines.

In the order releasing her, the judge said that the fees weren’t “punitive, but rather necessary to the coercive purpose of the Court’s civil contempt order.”

Soon after her release, Kelly Wright, a purported friend of Manning’s, started a GoFundMe to help Manning pay those costs.

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“Funds raised here will be used only to pay legal fines, and will be held in trust for this purpose alone,” the GoFundMe states. “Either way, every penny will go towards these fines.”

“Chelsea does not have the means to come up with over a quarter-million dollars on her own, and is exhausted from this ordeal, and can really use your help repaying these fines,” it continues.

In less than a day, the fundraiser has netted more than $70,000 in pledged donations from nearly 2,000 individual donors.

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In 2013, Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking classified information to WikiLeaks. In 2017, then-President Barack Obama commuted her sentence.

She was incarcerated again last May for refusing to comply with a grand jury subpoena.

Manning has reportedly been released since the court made its order. Her condition is unknown at this time.


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*First Published: Mar 13, 2020, 11:13 am CDT