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Chelsea Manning Sues|to See Feds’ Dossier

(CN) - Federal investigators stonewalled WikiLeaks source Chelsea Manning's request for the dossier they accrued on her over the course of a nearly 2-year investigation, she claims in a federal lawsuit in Washington.

Manning is now serving a 35-year sentence for uploading hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables, Iraq and Afghanistan incident reports, Guantanamo Bay detainee profiles and other files to WikiLeaks.

With her appeal pending, Manning's lawyer noted in the lawsuit that her client has "supporters worldwide who recognize that she acted for the public good to provide information of human rights abuses and other actions that had been secret."

Her lead military prosecutor recently said in an interview that Manning's probe was the "largest cybersecurity investigation in the history of the Department of the Army."

Since Manning was tried by military court-martial, investigations into her actions by civilian law enforcement agencies are not as well known.

In early 2014, Manning filed a Freedom of Information Act request from prison seeking her investigative files from two civilian law enforcement agencies - the FBI and the Department of Justice - between 2010 and 2012.

She says that the agencies denied the requests in full under an exemption protecting an active law enforcement investigation, even providing a so-called Glomar response declining to confirm or deny whether the files existed.

Manning says that the government's rationale doesn't make sense.

"Because the Army general court-martial and the FBI investigation arose from the same conduct, any attempt to prosecute [Manning] in federal criminal court would violate [her] double jeopardy rights," the complaint says.

Manning's appellate attorney Nancy Hollander, from the New Mexico-based firm Freedman Boyd Hollander Goldberg Urias & Ward, filed the 8-page complaint in D.C. Federal Court on Thursday.

"I don't know whether [the requested files will] help with the appeal because I haven't seen [them]," she said in a phone interview.

She must file a brief with the Court of Appeals for the Army for the next step of the appellate process to resume.

"It's the biggest record in military history," she noted. "We're working as fast as we can."

The Department of Justice did not respond to a request for comment.

"We want the government to respond properly to this FOIA as they should," Hollander said.

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