Former Army soldier Tom Cotton, R-Ark., argued Obama has caused “grave harm” to American security.
COTTON: Chelsea Manning pleaded guilty to very serious crimes leaking highly classified information that put at risk the lives of our troops and our diplomats, our intelligence officers, allies who have helped us around the world. This was grave harm to our national security, and Chelsea Manning is serving a sentence and should continue to serve that sentence. There’ll be a time to review her sentence and seek a parole in the future according to normal criminal procedures but for the president, especially a president who has made so much recently about the danger that WikiLeaks has posed to our national security, to commute Private Manning’s sentence, I just think it’s very disappointing.
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Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, D-W.V., also wasn’t happy with Obama’s decision.
MANCHIN: I think it’s dead wrong. Absolutely dead wrong. This is treason, espionage at the highest level. What the Private Manning done, Chelsea did, is absolutely found guilty, 35-year sentence. She should basically serve that sentence out. We’re going to give a green light to people basically with all the hacking going on now and all the cyber attacks we’ve got going on. My goodness, you got [Edward] Snowden out there, you got [Julian] Assange, you’ve got all these people, it’s just wrong. I’m for one, not going to be supportive of these types of commutes whatsoever or pardons.