Former sailor’s Clinton defense fails to persuade
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.