Former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning's lawyers are asking a federal judge to reconsider his decision to remand her to prison for refusing to testify before a grand jury in the WikiLeaks probe.
The judge ordered Manning to the Alexandria Detention Center earlier in May, where she could face up to 18 months in prison, the length of the grand jury term unless she agrees to cooperate with the investigation sooner.
Defense attorneys argue that Manning's testimony in the case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will no longer be necessary once the deadline requesting Assange's extradition passes on June 12.
Assange is being indicted for allegedly violating the Espionage Act by publishing classified government documents given to him by Manning in 2010, and faces U.S. extradition from the U.K., where he is currently imprisoned.
"After the submission of the extradition packet, the need for Ms. Manning's testimony will diminish ... precipitously," Manning's attorneys wrote in a motion filed on Friday.
Manning previously spent two months in prison in March for not cooperating with the grand jury and refusing to testify against Assange but was released when the grand jury term was up, before being sent to prison again in May.
Manning was found guilty of espionage and theft in 2013 and was sentenced to 35 years in prison after she leaked classified documents to Assange. Her sentence was commuted by President Barack Obama in 2017 and she was released from jail after seven years of imprisonment.
She has insisted that she has no new information to provide to prosecutors and that she would "rather starve to death" than cooperate with the investigation.
Federal law prohibits recalcitrant witnesses to be held solely for punishment and requires that they be released if imprisonment proves to be an ineffective method in forcing them to testify.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.