by WorldTribune Staff, July 10, 2017
A lawyer for ex-sailor Kristian Saucier, serving time in prison for taking photos of classified sections of a submarine, believes the “Deep State” had a hand in the Justice Department’s rejection of Saucier’s use of the “Hillary Clinton defense.”
Saucier, a machinist mate 1st class, was sentenced to a year in prison for taking six photographs of the nuclear propulsion system aboard the USS Alexandria in 2009.
Saucier’s sentence came a month after then-FBI Director James Comey decided Clinton would not be charged for mishandling classified information through her use of a private email server.
In using the “Hillary Clinton defense,” Saucier argued that Clinton, while secretary of state, had done much worse than he did and got off scot-free.
A clemency request filed by Saucier’s attorneys with the Department of Justice’s office of the pardon attorney was rejected on May 30.
“On many occasions, President Trump correctly pointed out the injustice to Kris, and yet he was clearly undercut by a ‘deep state’ bureaucracy,” Saucier attorney Jeffrey Addicott said. “Nevertheless, the president certainly has the power to energize the office of the pardon attorney and grant the pardon and the pending clemency petition.”
During the campaign, Trump referred to Saucier’s case “as a way of highlighting Mrs. Clinton’s scolding reprieve by Comey,” Rowan Scarborough noted in a July 9 report for The Washington Times.
“I think it’s very unfair in light of what’s happened with other people,” the president told Fox News’ Sean Hannity in January.
A lawyer knowledgeable about the pardon system told the Times that without intervention “from on high,” Saucier stood little chance because he is still serving his sentence and needs a waiver.
The unsigned May 30 rejection letter said: “Upon careful review of the information you submitted, we have concluded that it would not be appropriate to grant a waiver of the waiting period in Mr. Saucier’s case to permit him to apply for a pardon at this time. Waivers are infrequently granted and then only for particularly compelling reasons.”
“In my opinion, the ‘deep state’ torpedoed my petitions, and it never got out of the pardon attorney office at all,” Addicott told The Washington Times.
Addicott’s request to have Trump commute Saucier’s prison sentence is still pending, but since the ex-sailor 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.