- Chelsea Manning, the transgender former Army private best known for leaking the largest batch of classified government documents in US history, filed papers this week to run for the US Senate in Maryland.
- She will challenge Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin in his party’s primary later this year.
- President Barack Obama commuted Manning’s sentence in January 2017.
Chelsea Manning, the former US Army Intelligence analyst who leaked classified government documents to the radical transparency site WikiLeaks, has filed to run as a democrat for the US Senate in Maryland, The Washington Post reported Saturday.
The move is a stunning turn for Manning, who just over a year ago was serving a 35-year prison sentence for her unauthorized disclosure of sensitive government documents in 2010. President Barack Obama commuted all but four months of the remainder of Manning’s sentence. She was released from prison last May.
Manning’s sentence for whistleblowing was the longest in US history.
She is challenging current Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin for his seat. Cardin, a Democrat, has been serving as senator since 2007 and is running for reelection this year.
Manning, who is also a fierce advocate for transgender rights, often speaks out against the lack of privacy rights in the US and what she has described as an American “police state.”
“I’m walking out of prison and I see, literally, a dystopian novel unfolding before my eyes,” she shortly after her release. “That’s how I feel when I walk in the American streets today.”
Her rhetoric has won her many critics and fans from both sides of the political aisle. While some people believe her disclosure to WikiLeaks amounted to treason, others argue that she is an American hero.
Last year, President Donald Trump called Manning an “ungrateful traitor” who should never have been released from prison.