The Obama Department of Justice may commute Manning’s 35-year sentence, which was for leaking intelligence to Wikileaks. Who did NBC News  cite as a prominent Manning supporter? Edward Snowden, who is hiding out in Russia and begged Obama for clemency for himself.
Manning’s supporters believe the harshness of the sentence can be traced to another leaker; the scandal around former NSA contractor Edward Snowden was erupting around the same time.
“I really believe the judge felt she needed to send some sort of message,” the aunt said. “I think in a way she was a scapegoat for Edward Snowden.”
Snowden, who has asked Obama for clemency, tweeted his support of Manning shortly after NBC News’ report about the commutation decision aired on TODAY on Wednesday morning.