Menendez: ‘Not Sure’ What Message Is Sent Commuting Manning While Raising Concern About WikiLeaks and Election

On Tuesday’s broadcast of CNN’s “Situation Room,” Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) reacted to the commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence by stating, “at a time that we are seriously questioning what Russia did, as it relates to our recent elections, and the role that WikiLeaks…has played in that regard, I’m not sure what type of message we send here.”

Menendez said, “I don’t know why he did it, and so, I look forward to hearing his reasoning, because I just heard about it. But the reality is I have serious concerns about equivocating sentences when national security’s at stake. What happened here is that, literally hundreds of thousands of documents were released. It put national security at risk. It put individual operatives at risk. It put our national interests at risk with other countries. And at a time that we are seriously questioning what Russia did, as it relates to our recent elections, and the role that WikiLeaks…has played in that regard, I’m not sure what type of message we send here. And, so, I’m really surprised that the president took this action and I have concerns about what message we send about ultimately revealing sensitive national security documents.”

He further wondered, “[W]hat message do we send for the next person who thinks that they can get a treasure trove of documents released because something inspires them to do so and the consequences that flow from that?” And “if at the end of the day, you think you can do that, and then have your sentence commuted, I’m not sure that we send the right message.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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