Some former military lawyers told The Daily Caller News Foundation that Chelsea Manning violated the law by filing to run for the United States Senate for Maryland in 2018.
Manning is a Trans Woman who spent seven years in prison for illegally leaking more than 700,000 confidential documents to WikiLeaks, jeopardizing national security. Former President Obama commuted Manning’s sentence in his last week in office.
Manning, who is challenging two-term incumbent Senator Ben Cardin in the Democratic Party primary, recently filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission.
The problem with her filing for public office is that she is an active-duty soldier in the Army, even though last summer, Manning said she was not in the Army. Many news organizations classify her as a “former Army private,” but the United States Army told The Daily Caller News Foundation in September 2017 that she is officially an “active-duty soldier.”
“Manning is currently on excess leave pending completion of the appellate review of the court-martial conviction,” Army spokeswoman Valerie L. Mongello told TheDCNF. “While on excess leave, Manning is on active duty, but in an unpaid status. As an active duty Soldier, Manning is statutorily entitled to medical care. The Army does not answer questions about the medical care an individual Soldier may or may not be receiving due to Privacy Act and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) concerns.”
Additionally, ABC News noted in May 2017 that Manning must remain in an active-duty status while the appeal process continues.
“That paragraph is punitive and violation of it subjects her to courts-martial for violation of a lawful order or regulation under Article 92,” retired Army judge advocate general and president of the National Institute of Military Justice Dru 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.”
Politico reporter Josh Gerstein seemed to agree with TheDCNF’s reporting.
— Josh Gerstein (@joshgerstein) January 22, 2018