Help Chelsea Manning pay for lawyers to resist a Grand Jury subpoena

Originally published at:


So they’re attempting to bring charges different from those that she was already convicted of and that were commuted by Obama? The link doesn’t state who is convening the grand jury or on what specific charges.


Is someone considering further charges against her, or is it possible this Grand Jury is being convened to pursue charges against one of the war criminals she exposed during the course of that leak?


Wouldn’t anything she could be charged with from 2010 have passed the statute of limitations in 2017?


they’re all kinds of gotchas with statue of limitations in america.

Ex: The CFAA clock starts ticking when someone notices a breach IIRC. So if a young hacker shared an incident from '99 they could totally still be charged if the prosecutor was zealous enough.

TL;DR: Don’t admit to crimes, don’t talk to cops, and establish a strong social media presence so your inevitable legal gofundme gets eyeballs


I checked out the fundraiser page and this passage that I circled is a bit strange. I’m not sure I’m comfortable with that. And “if” she doesn’t need the funds?


The target of the grand jury investigation is almost never asked to testify before a grand jury. The federal prosecutor would have told her lawyers if she was a witness, subject or target.

WaPo says it is Assange.


I’m trying to figure out who makes up the “Chelsea Resists” committee and I can’t find out. Does anyone know?

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And anything rolling out of the leaks would be under the military justice system, as she was a soldier at the time. That’s how she was charged, tried, and imprisoned in the first place, in military courts under military laws.

The military justice system doesn’t use or have access to the regular grand jury system.

That’s what I’m thinking. If it is related to the Manning leaks it’s likely to be a civilian, and they probably wouldn’t be prosecuting reporters. So that means WikiLeaks and we know there are sealed indictments against Assange.


I’m not sure I understand this. Surely a Grand Jury is more democratic than the alternative used in other countries of a prosecutor simply having the power to indict?

There are certainly problems with the Grand Jury that should be fixed and there have been some efforts to do so.

Personally, I’d argue that we should bring back private prosecutions which is where their use is far more obvious/


That’s right, it’s as a witness in an investigation of Assange.

Letting her skip out on testifying makes as much sense as letting one of Trump’s accountants skip out on testifying because of… reasons.

And as far as secrecy, she has a right to disclose her testimony. The testimony is sealed if she chooses not to reveal it and it is not used in court, but she is free to disclose any part of it if she wishes. She also retains Fifth Amendment rights against self incrimination.

The grand jury process isn’t perfect. She absolutely needs legal help, and that is not cheap. It can definitely be stressful and time consuming. But I see no reason to think she should get out of it.


The material witness law does not specify how long a witness may be incarcerated before
being presented in a criminal proceeding or released. The Department of Justice took
full advantage of this gap in the law. One-third of the seventy post-September 11
material witnesses we identified were incarcerated for at least two months. Some
endured imprisonment for more than six months, and one witness spent more than a
year in prison. In almost every case, there is evidence that the Justice Department used
the material witness statute to buy itself time to go on a “fishing expedition” for
evidence showing the witnesses were in some way involved with terrorism. In most cases
no such evidence existed.


That’s more of an issue with the material witness law than the process of indictment by Grand Jury.

It isn’t like the Grand Juries are issuing the warrants or determining if someone is a flight risk and abuse of the law is not limited to Grand Jury proceedings.


The federal prosecutor can use evidence discovered from a Grand Jury investigation any way they like. There is no meaningful restriction on what type of questions can be asked, or the subject matter.

So it doesn’t matter if the Grand Jury is ostensibly about investigating Donald Trump or Satan himself, the prosecutor can compel you to answer questions about basically anything. This is why they’re often called “fishing expeditions”. The prosecutor doesn’t even have a case in mind, they’re just hitting anyone who seems connected to a cause with a subpoena and grilling them until something interesting comes up.

And unlike a normal court, you do have to answer the questions. They can invalidate your 5th Amendment right not to answer questions by granting you “qualified immunity”, meaning that they agree not to use those particular statements as evidence in a case against you personally. But
A) they can still use them indirectly to build a case against you, and
B) they can absolutely use them to pursue charges against anyone associated with you.

Your friends, family, fellow activists etc are all valid targets and you cannot legally refuse to snitch on them. You are effectively an open book before the Grand Jury, and holding anything at all back can result in being jailed.

Grand juries are a popular technique used by prosecutors to disrupt political activists, because while their principles compel them to be in solidarity, the law can force them to inform on each other. It’s messed up. A founding principle of the US is that the government shouldn’t be snooping in the private business of political dissidents. But since the 5th Amendment only guarantees protection for individuals - not networks - they’ve found this clever end run around it. It’s long past due we closed the loophole.


They will soon put that together with the precedents for “Conspiracy Against the USA” from the Russia prosecutions.

Mmm. Grand Jury testimony is generally considered inadmissible hearsay at trial by the prosecution. The Federal Rule of Evidence 804(b)(1) carves out an exception, but in no way can a federal prosecutor use it in any way they like.

You legally have no right to refuse to snitch on anyone but yourself and spouse (and client if you’re a lawyer) at trial either. The Fifth Amendment protects against self-incrimination, not the incrimination of others.

None of this is limited to Grand Juries. If someone accepts a pardon or is granted immunity, then they can be compelled to testify in regular old court about their own crimes. If you saw a friend do something illegal which you were not a part of, you can be compelled to testify for their crimes. If you’re asked a question which can’t possibly be used to incriminate you, you can be forced to answer that as well.


Right and this isn’t something that is unilateral. A prosecutor just can’t label you as having immunity, and proceed from there. You have to accept it, and its not something that happens in court. Immunity and plea deals are things that are agreed to before hand between prosecutors and potential defendants, and they’re always conditional or qualified. You exchange testimony for immunity (or sentencing/lesser convictions with a plea), and if the testimony isn’t forthcoming then what is essentially a contract hasn’t been fulfilled. You can be compelled to comply, or the deal can be vacated. The immunity or lesser charge/sentence goes away. We just watched this happen with Paul Manafort.

This doesn’t “Invalidate” your 5th amendment rights so much as preclude them, if there is no possibility of prosecution/incrimination then there is nothing for the 5th amendment to protect you from. And it only does so for the specific context of the immunity/plea. If the deal only covers any crimes committed with regards to cookies missing from the cookie jar. You can still take the 5th with regards to the unrelated pot smuggling ring you were involved with. And again, this is consensual (baring complications with our justice system in general). It can’t just be imposed on you.

And the exact same situation exists in pretty much all courts, regular criminal courts and in certain circumstances civil courts.


Right and this isn’t something that is unilateral. A prosecutor just can’t label you as having immunity, and proceed from there.

Mmm. Immunity can be granted unilaterally. Pardons have to be accepted.

The difference is that in a Grand Jury, a witness is entitled to receive immunity in exchange for compelled testimony whereas at trial, the prosecutor (well, in many cases, the Attorney General) has discretion as to whether to grant it.

This is all covered under Title 18 U.S.C. §§ 6001-6005. For instance, 18 U.S. Code § 6003.

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Said immunity comes as a condition of the subpoena. Essentially if you are compelled to testify against your will, then said testimony can not be used against you. This doesn’t violate 5th amendment protections because its designed to preserve them. As in the deal model it precludes it, as there is no (direct) possibility of incrimination. This isn’t a thing a prosecutor can do to you because of grand juries, and it’s not something that can be done in the moment, its a limitation placed on prosecutors to protect subjects in a similar way the 5th amendment does.

Because that sort of immunity is limited to the testimony itself, not extending to the crimes themselves or other evidence, many states require a specific immunity deal that covers more in order to use a subpoena this way or to use any evidence gained from it. With federal grand juries being bound by the laws of the states they’re conducted in.

And so far as I’m aware you get 5th amendment protections on subjects not directly covered by the subpoena or can’t be compelled to testify on subjects not covered by it. Variably and depending on legalistic fights over whats what, and how things are connected. Its just not a situation where the magic grand jury button makes the entire legal framework go away. And as it’s an automatic result of a court order issued by the judge it isn’t so much at the discretion of the prosecutor.


No. She is not the target of any investigation. This is the Mueller investigation, into contacts between the Trump campaign, Wikileaks, and the FSB. She’s just… a useful idiot here.