Chelsea Manning’s Run For The Senate May Have Just Backfired In A Massive Way

Chelsea Manning filed to run for the Senate in Maryland this week, which as it turns out, potentially subjects Manning to prosecution as active duty military, according to BizPacReview.

Manning posted a certificate of candidacy on Twitter last week.

Check it out:

Manning, the transgender soldier who spent seven years in prison for leaking more than 700,000 sensitive documents to WikiLeaks, recently filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission and is seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination for the Senate seat in Maryland currently occupied by Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin, a two-term senator.

Here’s more:

As part of the coverage of Manning’s filing with the FEC and state board, virtually every media organization has declared that Manning is a former Army private. In fact, as the Army confirmed to The Daily Caller News Foundation in September 2017, Manning remains an active-duty soldier, albeit on excess leave and in a non-pay status while his appeal of a general court-martial for violating the Espionage Act and other orders is underway. And as ABC News noted in May 2017, Manning must remain in an active-duty status while the appeal process continues.

Manning was originally sentenced to 35 years in prison, but then-President Barack Obama commuted the sentence as one of his last acts in office, freeing Manning from a military prison in Kansas.

The Army further stated that Manning holds an active-duty identification card and acknowledged his status and access to government health care prior to his release.

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While Manning’s felony conviction does not appear to automatically disqualify a run for office, his active-duty status presents a much more troubling issue. Such a status, in other words, has enormous implications for engaging in any kind of political activity, especially a Senate run.

Retired Army Judge Advocate General Dru Brenner-Beck, who’s currently president of the National Institute of Military Justice, said Manning is prohibited from such a run for office by the Department of Defense. In fact, Secretary of Defense James Mattis is the only person who can grant an exception for such a run.

According to Brenner-Beck, the regulation in question is DOD Directive 1344.10 Directive 1344.10, Political Activities by Members of the Armed Forces, dated Feb. 9, 2008, para. 4.2.2.

“That paragraph is punitive and violation of it subjects her to courts-martial for violation of a lawful order or regulation under Article 92,” Brenner-Beck told TheDCNF. “Her activities campaigning for herself and fundraising for herself may also violate other provisions of the DoD Directive, themselves separately punishable under the UCMJ, art. 92.”

Brenner-Beck added that prosecution in this case is a “discretionary decision by her chain of command.”

Brenner-Beck added that he doesn’t believe prosecution is outside the realm of possibility for the Trump administration, especially given its harsh dealings with Bowe Bergdahl.

Brenner-Beck believes Bergdahl represents a blatant example of disregarding the principle of avoiding unlawful command influence. Trump blasted Manning in January 2017 after Obama commuted his prison sentence, calling him an “ungrateful traitor” who never should have been released.

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