This Sailor got a year in Prison, but Hillary nothing

 In Military

Kristian Saucier was a sailor aboard the USS Alexandria in 2009. He took pictures of the inside of the submarine. His attorneys used the “Clinton Defense” citing the lack of prosecution against  Hillary Clinton for worse crimes. Saucier was sentenced on Friday.

The Clinton Defense

His attorneys argued that he should get leniency because what he did was similar to what Hillary did, and the level of classification was much lower in Saucier’s case.

“[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.”  Derrick Hogan, attorney for Saucier

The case

Kristian Saucier took 6 photos with his cell phone inside the USS Alexandria back in 2009. He eventually threw his old cellphone away, and a man at the junkyard found it. That man told a friend, who called the NCIS, and the rest is history.

The photos were “confidential,” which is the lowest level of classification. He said he wanted to show them to his children some day, but the prosecutors refused to believe him.

Saucier pleaded guilty in early 2016 to one count of unlawfully retaining national defense information. He stated that he knew what he did was wrong.

ussalexandria

The USS Alexandria – US Navy Photo by Paul Farley

Sentencing

Federal prosecutors demanded a 6 year prison term. But they didn’t get it.

US News and World report wrote,

unlawful retention of  sentenced Saucier to one year in prison and a $100 fine, along with six months home confinement, 100 hours of community service and a ban on owning guns, his legal team says. Prosecutors had asked for six years behind bars.

One of Saucier’s attorneys said justice seems to depend on who you are in this country.

“…it could be argued here that depending on what your name is, that’s the type of justice you get in the United States.” Greg Rinckey, another attorney for Saucier

sailor

Kristian Saucier – US Navy photo

The prosecution

According to the Hartford Courant, Prosecutors alleged that Saucier lied to the Navy and FBI, deleted relevant files, and his photos could have allowed a foreign power to “reconstruct” the submarine’s nuclear propulsion system.  They said one of the photos was “compressed” as if it had been disseminated. They said he destroyed his laptop, his camera, and computer memory card.

Their case was damning. They went after him tooth and fang (as they are predisposed to do on a regular basis).

Double Standard?

Saucier’s shipmates said that others who also took pictures inside the submarine were just demoted. They felt the punishment was “disproportionate” to the actual crime, especially since Clinton has gotten away with far worse.

Scott Nelson, Saucier’s Chief Petty Officer through part of 2009 stated in a letter,

“There was no real discussion of legal ramifications of minor security violations, nor was there any significant enforcement of policy for most minor mistakes…”

The judge altered the mandatory sentence of 10 years, possibly based on the news reports comparing Kristian Saucier to Hillary Clinton. He also rebuked the attorneys for comparing their client with Clinton, calling it a “grasping at straws” defense.

Mr. Saucier must report to prison October 1, and his attorneys say that he is worried about being able to return to his family.

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