Chelsea Manning, a former army intelligence officer who leaked secret State Department cables and army field reports to Julian Assange, has been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury in the case against the WikiLeaks founder. Manning revealed that he had been subpoenaed in an interview with the New York Times and said that she would fight it.
"I object strenuously to this subpoena, and to the grand jury process in general. We've seen this power abused countless times to target political speech. […] I resent being forced to endanger myself by participating in this predatory practice", she said in a statement, as cited by The Washington Post.
Manning noted that she was not aware of "the parameters of the subpoena" and what she would be questioned about.
The case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was opened in 2010, after the scandalous release of State Department cables and other secret documents. However, the administration of former President Barack Obama decided not to pursue Assange and WikiLeaks, citing the possibility of making a precedent of suing media for publishing classified documents.
The case was reopened in the Eastern District of Virginia under Donald Trump's administration. The charge remains sealed, so it remains unclear what Assange is charged for.
According to David House, a former WikiLeaks volunteer who agreed to cooperate with the investigation in exchange for immunity, the grand jury was interested in WikiLeaks' goals and Assange's connection with Manning. The jury was also curious about the potential for collateral damage in some of Assange's leaks, such as exposure of WikiLeaks' sources of information.
Julian Assange is currently residing in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, hiding from British authorities that could arrest him for breaching bail conditions from when he was a subject to rape allegations in Sweden. Assange and his team of lawyers believe that the arrest could be used to later extradite him to the US to face prosecution there.