Kristian Saucier was pardoned by President Trump this past week. He was charged and even jailed in October 2016 when he took photos while on board a submarine in 2009.
He blasted the Obama administration over the weekend for the move, believing that he was used to “take the heat” off the investigation of the Hillary server debacle.
“It’s unfortunate that one prosecutor and a couple of FBI agents really just destroyed my life for no reason,” he told Hegseth. “This case could have been handled at a much lower level within the military as it should have been because I was active duty at the time, and I would have taken my punishment the same way like a man.”
“I made a mistake when I was a young kid, it was a misguided attempt to have some mementos, and it should have never reached the level that it did.”
“It was a clear attempt by the Department of Justice under President Obama to use me as a scapegoat to take the heat off of Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified information,” he added. (RELATED: Sailor Seeks ‘Hillary Defense’ To Avoid Jail Time For Mishandling Classified Information)
“Thank you, sir for your bravery and for standing up in the face of so many people who said you would never do the right thing,” he stated. “You proved them wrong time and time again and thank you for having the moral fortitude to follow through on your promises.”
After pardoning him, Trump took to Twitter: “Congratulations to Kristian Saucier, a man who has served proudly in the Navy, on your newly found Freedom. Now you can go out and have the life you deserve!”
From CBS News:
It was Mr. Trump’s second pardon as president. He pardoned Joe Arpaio, a former six-term sheriff of metro Phoenix, in August.
Saucier’s attorney, Ronald Daigle Jr., said his client was “ecstatic. He’s so grateful that the president saw there was an injustice in this matter and he took action on it.”
Saucier pleaded guilty in 2016 to unauthorized detention of defense information for taking photos inside the USS Alexandria while it was stationed in Groton, Connecticut, in 2009.
Saucier had said previously that he had only wanted service mementos. But federal prosecutors argued he was a disgruntled sailor who had put national security at risk by taking photos showing the submarine’s propulsion system and reactor compartment and then obstructed justice by destroying a laptop and camera. Saucier claimed his prosecution was driven by sensitivity about classified information amid the scandal involving Clinton’s emails.