Former sailor’s Clin­ton de­fense fails to per­suade

The Washington Times Weekly - - National - BY ROWAN SCAR­BOR­OUGH

The fam­ily and lawyers sup­port­ing former Navy sailor Kristian Saucier were hop­ing Pres­i­dent Trump would be re­cep­tive to the “Hil­lary Clin­ton de­fense.”

Saucier was con­victed and im­pris­oned for keep­ing never-dis­trib­uted per­sonal pho­tos of clas­si­fied sec­tions of an at­tack sub­ma­rine on his cell­phone. He ar­gued that Mrs. Clin­ton, while sec­re­tary of state, did much worse. She mis­han­dled pages of se­cret ma­te­rial on her per­sonal com­puter sys­tem and got off scot-free.

“I think it’s very un­fair in light of what’s hap­pened with other peo­ple,” the pres­i­dent told Fox News’ Sean Han­nity in Jan­uary.

Mr. Trump re­ferred to the Saucier case on the cam­paign trail as a way of high­light­ing Mrs. Clin­ton’s scold­ing re­prieve by FBI Di­rec­tor James B. Comey.

With high hopes, Jef­frey Ad­di­cott, Saucier’s pro-bono at­tor­ney at the Cen­ter for Ter­ror­ism Law at St. Mary’s Univer­sity in San An­to­nio, filed a clemency re­quest with the Depart­ment of Jus­tice’s of­fice of the par­don at­tor­ney.

But he did no bet­ter with the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion than he prob­a­bly would have done with a Pres­i­dent Hil­lary Clin­ton.

The par­don at­tor­ney sent out an the lawyer said.

As an ex­am­ple of ex­cess pros­e­cu­tion of Saucier, Mr. Ad­di­cott said, the Jus­tice Depart­ment is­sued a na­tional press re­lease from pub­lic af­fairs head­quar­ters in Wash­ing­ton for a case that should have been han­dled by the Navy through non­ju­di­cial pun­ish­ment.

Mr. Ad­di­cott also sent a let­ter to At­tor­ney Gen­eral Jeff Ses­sions ask­ing for an ex­pe­dited par­don process. An ex­ec­u­tive as­sis­tant wrote back that “un­for­tu­nately we are un­able to of­fer ex­pe­dited pro­cess­ing of any in­di­vid­ual pe­ti­tion.”

Mr. Ad­di­cott’s re­quest to have the pres­i­dent com­mute the prison sen­tence is still pend­ing, but since Saucier is el­i­gi­ble for re­lease in Septem­ber, he may be out of prison be­fore the com­mu­ta­tion re­view is com­pleted. A fed­eral judge sen­tenced Saucier to six months of home con­fine­ment fol­low­ing re­lease.

Saucier, a ma­chin­ist mate 1st class, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to a charge of unau­tho­rized re­ten­tion of de­fense in­for­ma­tion — six pho­to­graphs taken of the nu­clear propul­sion sys­tem aboard the USS Alexan­dria in 2009. A month after Mr. Comey de­cided Mrs. Clin­ton’s fate, Saucier was sen­tenced to a year in prison. A Navy board handed him an other-thanhonor­able dis­charge.

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