Bradley Manning Wants Obama, Clinton as Witnesses
Preliminary hearing begins Dec. 16
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 4, 2011 2:09 PM CST
This undated file photo obtained by the AP shows Bradley Manning, the US Army private suspected of being the source of some of the unauthorized classified information disclosed on WikiLeaks.   (AP Photo, File)

(Newser) – Bradley Manning's preliminary hearing is set to begin Dec. 16, and if the US Army private has his way, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton will be among the witnesses. The president and the secretary of state were included on a 20-page list of defense witnesses in a request made Friday, Politico reports. Manning's preliminary hearing will determine whether the case against him—accusing him of passing classified information to WikiLeaks—should be referred for a full-scale court martial.

The defense wants to question Obama about comments he made at an April fundraiser, during which he said Manning "broke the law." The defense asserts those comments represent "unlawful command influence," since Obama, as commander-in-chief, is prohibited from making comments that could influence a matter of military justice. Clinton, meanwhile, would be asked to confirm that the impact of the allegedly leaked diplomatic cables was minimal.