Chelsea Manning Running For U.S. Senate

Pvt. Chelsea E. Manning is officially planning to run for a U.S. Senate seat, The Washington Post reports.

According to federal election filings, the transgender former U.S. Army intelligence analyst is seeking the Democratic nomination to become a senator in Maryland. She would challenge the current Democrat in the seat, Sen. Ben Cardin, who is serving his second term.

Manning has declined to speak about her reasons for running but may release a statement in the coming days. “Our only statement on the record is ‘No statement,’” she said.

Manning was convicted in 2013 for giving more than 700,000 classified military documents to WikiLeaks, the largest leak of classified documents in U.S. history, and sentenced to 35 years at Fort Leavenworth, an all-male Army prison in Kansas.

“I take full and complete responsibility for my decision to disclose these materials to the public,” Manning wrote at the time. “I have never made any excuses for what I did. I pleaded guilty without the protection of a plea agreement because I believed the military justice system would understand my motivation for the disclosure and sentence me fairly. I was wrong.”

Manning, who revealed she was transgender during her trial, was initially denied medical treatment in prison to facilitate her transition. Following multiple suicide attempts, Manning was ultimately permitted to undergo gender confirmation surgery, making her the first U.S. prison inmate to have access to the procedure.

After President Barack Obama approved Manning’s petition to commute her prison sentence to time served, the infamous whistleblower was released on May 17, 2017, having served seven years.

“For the first time, I can see a future for myself as Chelsea,” she wrote in a statement following her release. “I can imagine surviving and living as the person who I am and can finally be in the outside world.”

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