Chelsea Manning files to run for U.S. Senate in Maryland
Chelsea Manning, a former Army private jailed for passing government documents onto WikiLeaks, has filed to run for the U.S. Senate in Maryland.
Manning is set to run as a Democrat in the upcoming elections, which puts her up against Sen. Ben Cardin, according to the filings first reported by the Washington Post.
Cardin, a Democrat, is Maryland’s senior senator, who is currently serving his second term.
The 30-year-old whistle blower in 2007 enlisted in the military and was deployed to Iraq where she worked as an intelligence analyst.
In 2010, Manning was arrested in the largest breach of classified data in U.S. history. She was convicted three years later on multiple counts — including violating the Espionage Act — for leaking 75,000 documents, some of them detailing war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan while others contained information about prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.
Manning was sentenced to 35 years behind bars, and a day later released a statement explaining that she identified as female.
She changed her name from Bradley Manning to Chelsea and transitioned during her time behind bars at the all-male facility.
The ACLU in 2014 filed a lawsuit against the Department of Defense over its refusal to treat her gender dysphoria. The LGBTQ community rallied around Manning as she kicked off a hunger strike to pressure officials into allowing her the care she required.
She’s the first to receive gender-affirming surgical treatment in prison, according the ACLU.
In the final days of his presidency, Barack Obama commuted Manning’s sentence and she was released from the Fort Leavenworth military prison in Kansas in May 2017 after spending seven years in custody.
President Trump slammed her release on Twitter and described her as an “ungrateful TRAITOR” who “never should have been released from prison.”
Manning has since moved to Maryland and has written about civil liberties and free speech for The Guardian and Medium.