President Donald Trump pardoned Kristian Saucier, the former U.S. Navy sailor who took photographs aboard a nuclear submarine and argued for the same leniency Hillary Clinton received for mishandling classified information.
“Mr. Saucier was 22 years old at the time of his offenses and has served out his 12-month sentence,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said on Friday. “He has been recognized by his fellow service members for his dedication, skill, and patriotic spirit.”
Sanders pointed out that Saucier mentored younger sailors and served as an instructor for new recruits.
“The sentencing judge found that Mr. Saucier’s offense stands in contrast to his commendable military service,” Sanders added. “The president is appreciative of Mr. Saucier’s service to the country.”
A federal judge sentenced Saucier to one year in prison and ordered him to pay a $100 fine. Saucier’s lawyers argued that the Navy machinist should receive a lenient sentence since the FBI decided not to charge Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified information.
Like Saucier’s lawyers, Trump compared the handling of the Clinton case to that of the sailor in a Jan. 2 tweet this year.
“Crooked Hillary Clinton’s top aide, Huma Abedin, has been accused of disregarding basic security protocols. She put Classified Passwords into the hands of foreign agents,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
“Remember sailors pictures on submarine?” Trump added, referring to Saucier’s case. “Jail! Deep State Justice Dept must finally act? Also on Comey & others.”
Crooked Hillary Clinton’s top aid, Huma Abedin, has been accused of disregarding basic security protocols. She put Classified Passwords into the hands of foreign agents. Remember sailors pictures on submarine? Jail! Deep State Justice Dept must finally act? Also on Comey & others
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2018
Saucier, now 29, admitted to taking photos of a nuclear submarine’s propulsion system as a machinist in the engine room in 2009, The Washington Times reported. In May 2016, he pleaded guilty to one charge of unauthorized possession and retention of national defense information.
Saucier’s lawyers argued that it would be unfair to sentence him to anything but probation given that Clinton mishandled more than 100 emails with classified and confidential information and was never charged with a crime.
It would be “unjust and unfair for Mr. Saucier to receive any sentence other than probation for a crime those more powerful than him will likely avoid,” the lawyers said, according to The Washington Times.
The Justice Department is currently investigating why then-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe sat on his hands for one month after finding out that additional Clinton emails were discovered on the laptop of Anthony Weiner, the husband of Clinton-aide Huma Abedin.
Clinton was ultimately exonerated by then-FBI director James Comey in a statement he drafted before interviewing Clinton and other key witnesses. The original draft of Comey’s exoneration was edited to change references to Clinton being “grossly negligent,” a legal term with criminal ramifications, to “extremely careless.”