Ryan: Obama’s Manning Commutation ‘Outrageous’
House Speaker Paul Ryan called out President Barack Obama on Tuesday after he commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning.
The Hill reports:
“Chelsea Manning’s treachery put American lives at risk and exposed some of our nation’s most sensitive secrets,” Ryan said in a statement. “This is just outrageous.”
Ryan added Obama’s decision would embolden others who previously feared punishment for leaking classified materials.
“President Obama now leaves in place a dangerous precedent that those who compromise our national security won’t be held accountable for their crimes.”
Manning was serving a 35-year-prison sentence before Obama’s commutation Tuesday, the longest ever imposed for a leak conviction.
The former solider was convicted in 2013 after leaking classified information that was later publicly disclosed by WikiLeaks. Manning, who was originally slated for release in 2045, will now receive freedom on May 17, seven years after entering prison.
Obama announced Manning’s grant in a batch of 209 commutations and 64 pardons overall, which came as he finishes the last four days of his presidency. Civil liberties groups applauded the move, but congressional Republicans have been swift in rejecting it.
Manning, who is transgender, has reportedly struggled with mental health issues during her incarceration and solitary confinement, including two suicide attempts.
Obama has granted commutations to 1,385 federal inmates as president, more than the total number given by the past 12 presidents combined.
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