President Barack Obama reportedly has Chelsea Manning on his "short list" for commutation before he leaves office, a person in the Justice Department told NBC News. The decision could be made as soon as Wednesday.
Manning, 29, is a former U.S. Army soldier and was sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking classified military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks in 2010. Branded as a "traitor" by prosecutors and critics, Manning received what some have considered to be an unfairly harsh sentence: "After this case, I had to tell Chelsea — 'I've represented murderers. I've represented rapists. I've represented child molesters. And none of them received 35 years,'" defense lawyer David Coombs told NBC News.
Manning tried to commit suicide twice in 2016, and went on a hunger strike in an attempt to get gender reassignment surgery. More than 100,000 people have signed a petition asking Obama to commute Manning.
"I have more hope right now than I have the entire time since she was sentenced," said Manning's aunt, Deborah Manning. "I do think it's the last hope for a while."