Jan 13, 2018, 3:37 PM ET

Chelsea Manning files to run for US Senate

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Chelsea Manning, a transgender former U.S. Army soldier imprisoned for seven years after being convicted of leaking classified military documents to WikiLeaks, has filed papers to run for the U.S. Senate in Maryland as a Democrat.

According to a Federal Election Commission filing, Chelsea Elizabeth Manning filed her candidacy papers on Thursday. Manning is challenging incumbent U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, also a Democrat, who is running for his third term.

The primary election for the 2018 Maryland senate race will be held on June 26, 2018.

Manning was convicted in 2013 by a military tribunal under the Espionage and Computer Fraud and Abuse Acts for releasing over 700,000 documents to WikiLeaks. At the time, Manning was a 22-year-old United States Army private named Bradley Manning, and she served seven years of a 35-year sentence. President Barack Obama commuted Manning’s sentence to time served as one of his final acts in office.

The information Manning disclosed included low-level battlefield reports from Iraq and Afghanistan, Guantanamo prison camp detainee profiles and U.S. diplomatic correspondence. Manning pleaded guilty to some charges but was acquitted of the most serious charge brought against her: aiding the enemy.

Manning has long maintained that she leaked the documents in order to spark public debate. In an exclusive 2017 interview with ABC’s Juju Chang for a special edition of Nightline, Manning said, “My intention was to draw attention to this … and do the right thing.”

Manning continued, “And I struggled with that, but the intention was very much like, ‘This is about improving the country. This is about improving our standing in the world, this is about improving everything.’ And maybe this can start a debate on that.”

Mere days after Manning was sentenced, she came out as transgender on Aug. 22, 2013. The military would not provide her with any treatment for her gender dysphoria, which Manning claimed resulted in her increased distress. At the time, her ACLU lawyer filed a lawsuit on her behalf in order to receive gender transition related health care.

Cardin's office and Manning did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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  • Reese Witheredpoon

    Manning is a literal monster. Not just because HE'S a traitor, but also because HE'S nothing more than a modern day version of Victor Frankenstein's creature.

  • Mike Pierson

    this she thing should have been tried and executed

  • Dr. Detroit

    Who is FUNDING this?! I have to know!

  • Thomas

    Even if Manning were to be elected (which is far from certain), the Senate can vote to expel any member that colleagues deem unfit or unqualified to serve.

    But seriously, I don't think it will ever get that far.

  • Jackie Dansby

    She? Makes me nauseous. HE shouldn't be hire-able at most public establishments being a convicted, traitorous felon and has no place in our government.

  • david

    I hope he wins the democrat primary. I hope ppl should elect him or whatever she is to challenge the Republican Party. Remember houw the democrats allowed Moore to win strange in Alabama republican primary. I think MA republicans should do us a favor. We need a weak democratic candidate to defeat in the main election. The onus is on MA republicans

  • Jeepers

    So the state of Maryland certifies a convicted felon (Obama commuted sentence, not pardoned), who reveals the most secretive things about government in the most damaging way possible, then forces taxpayers to pay for surgical alteration of his body. This makes Manning a certain Democratic candidate for president one day.

  • jw619

    This is why the dems keep losing

  • dtrainsdad

    This will be real waste of time on his/her part.

  • running33

    So why does she want to run for senate? What's her platform and why does she think she's capable of being effective? Leaking 700,000 classified documents in order to start a debate makes me question her intelligence, integrity and decision-making processes.

  • HornsNbr1

    Another ploy to get the American tax-payers to cover his hormone treatments and surgery.

  • Holly

    Dems embrace the limited. They love to drive us toward mediocrity while Trump aims at meritocracy. We need 7 more years to help straighten out the mess the Progs left behind.

  • Fly Away

    Just what America needs to have in our national government - a transgender pervert - to prevent us from ever being great again...

  • Alexthekay

    So this is now officially the Year of Convicted Felons Running For Both Parties.

  • jschm

    She is very qualified. She knows as much about national security as Hillary CLinton. At least how to violate it.