Imprisoned Navy sailor uses Hillary Clinton defense in appeal for clemency

by WorldTribune Staff, January 13, 2017

Lawyers for a former sailor who was imprisoned for mishandling classified material have filed paperwork to have his sentence commuted.

Navy Machinist Mate 1st Class Kristian Saucier was a “scapegoat” amid the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton, according to the ex-sailor’s legal team. He was jailed for carelessness with classified information while Clinton avoided any punishment for what was much more egregious conduct, they said.

Kristian Saucier

“In light of the non-action by the FBI regarding the mishandling of secret and top-secret materials by Hillary Clinton, it is a gross miscarriage of justice for the federal government to make a scapegoat of Kris Saucier’s minor misconduct in order to demonstrate a deep concern regarding the mishandling of classified information,” said Jeffrey F. Addicott, a retired Army judge advocate who directs the Center for Terrorism Law at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio.

Addicott, who is representing Saucier pro bono, filed the commutation paperwork, and requested a fast-track investigation so a recommendation on sentence reduction can be made early in the Trump presidency, Rowan Scarborough reported for The Washington Times on Jan. 10.

Saucier is due to be released from prison in October.

The ex-sailor’s mother, Kathleen Saucier, told The Washington Times that her message to Trump is: “I would like to say to Mr. Trump that I believe that he’s our hope to re-evaluate the way things are done in our government.”

Saucier pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to a charge of unauthorized retention of defense information and was sentenced Aug. 16 to one year in prison. Saucier took six cellphone pictures of his work area aboard the nuclear attack submarine USS Alexandria in 2009. They remained in his phone.

Addicott told the Times that two other crew members also took prohibited pictures but received light punishment. He argues that Saucier was sent to prison because decisions in his case were made in 2015 and 2016 — at the very time the FBI was investigating Clinton.

The FBI arrested Saucier in May 2015, two months after Clinton’s unauthorized private email server setup became public.