President Donald Trump pardoned navy submariner Kristian Saucier on Friday, the sailor who brought up Hillary Clinton as part of his defense in trial proceedings.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders made the announcement during Friday afternoon’s press conference:
In other news today, the President has pardoned Kristian Saucier, a Navy submariner. Mr. Saucier was 22 years old at the time of his offenses, and has served out his 12-month sentence. He has been recognized by his fellow service members for his dedication, skill, and patriotic spirit.
While serving, he regularly 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. The President is appreciative of Mr. Saucier’s service to the country.
Saucier was indicted in July 2015 on accusations of taking six cell phone photos of a submarine’s classified engine room, a room in which he worked as a mechanic. He was brought up on felony charges of unlawful retention of national defense information and obstruction of justice, according to Politico. He eventually pled guilty to the classified information charge.
Comparisons were made between Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified information through use of a private email server and Saucier’s photos.
Saucier’s attorney, Derrick Hogan, argued that the FBI treated Clinton with leniency in comparison to his client, “Democratic Presidential Candidate and former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has come under scrutiny for engaging in acts similar to Mr. Saucier.”
Then FBI Director James Comey admitted in July 2016 that there was evidence that Clinton may have violated laws relating to mishandling of classified information, but recommended against prosecution.
“It will 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,” Hogan argued in documents filed on behalf of his client.
Trump spoke of Saucier during his presidential campaign, comparing the case to Clinton’s handling of classified information, the Washington Post reported. As President Trump took office, Saucier’s lawyers reached out to the President with the request that Trump commute the sentence and pardon the sailor for his crime.
Friday’s announcement revealed Trump’s decision to pardon Saucier after he had served out his twelve month sentence.
Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana