One of the most outlandish stories of last week was the news that Chelsea Manning – the transgender former Army private who spent seven years of a 35-year sentence in prison for leaking over 700,000 military documents to WikiLeaks before President Obama pardoned her – announced that she’s running for Senate in Maryland. She’s challenging Democratic incumbent Ben Cardin on a platform of free health care for all, wide open borders and no immigration controls, and closing down all prisons.
But there could be a speed bump on her road to the Senate, and ironically, it’s probably the last thing you ever would think of. While Manning is appealing a Court martial for violating the Espionage Act and other orders, she is on excess leave and receives no pay, but she’s still technically an active duty military member, and as such, is barred from partisan political activity. Running for Senate would be a violation that could open Manning up to further charges.
The good news for her is there’s a way around it: the Secretary of Defense (James “Maddog” Mattis) could grant convicted military traitor Chelsea Manning his personal exemption so that she could run for Senate. I’m not a betting man, but even if I had a gambling addiction, I wouldn’t wager a nickel that that’s going to happen.