Kristian Saucier, the former U.S. Navy sailor who served a year behind bars for taking photos of classified areas in a nuclear submarine, has been pardoned, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Friday.
Saucier recently received a letter from the Department of Justice saying it was taking a new look at his request for a pardon. Although he was released from jail last year, he remained under house arrest.
President Trump had denounced the government’s handling of Saucier’s case, calling it a political move and saying it contrasted with the velvet-gloved response to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s mismanagement of classified information through a private server.
"The president has pardoned Kristian Saucier, a Navy submariner,” Sanders said in a press briefing Friday afternoon. “Mr. Saucier was 22 years old at the time of his offenses and has served out his 12-months sentence. He has been recognized by his fellow service members for his dedication, skill and patriotic spirit.”
“While serving, he regularly mentored younger sailors and served as an instructor for new recruits. The sentencing judge found that Mr. Saucier's offense stands in contrast to his commendable military service. The president is appreciative of Mr. Saucier's service to the country.”
If you'll recall, Saucier's May 2016 guilty plea was entered less than two months before then FBI Director James Comey chose not to recommend criminal charges for then presidential candidate Hillary Clinton despite basically admitting she was guilty of gross negligence.
My friend and Northern Alliance Radio Network colleague Mitch Berg accurately pointed out the blatant unequal application of the law soon after Comey made his announcement.
I'll make no bones about the fact that I think Hillary Clinton is utterly qualified to be a terrible president, that she was the second-worst Secretary of State in the past 100 years (Albright was worse), and that along with her husband she set back "feminism" a generation (for better or worse).
And yeah, I think the fact that the FBI, which answers to Loretta Lynch's DOJ, magically decided to recommend "no charges" in this probe despite multiple serious violations of the law (as laid out by former Federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy) is a flame-belching hemi-powered travesty.
But the worst thing about it?
"Democracy" requires trust to function. When the people start to believe there's one system for those in power, and one for everyone else, people are justified in not trusting their government. And given that the Administration *has* used not only its bully pulpit, but its bureaucracy to sandbag and attack American dissenters in ways big and small (putting dissenter groups on watch lists, subjecting conservative groups to extra-special IRS scrutiny, sending guns across the border to try to discredit American gun owners and dealers, lying about Obamacare and the Iran non-treaty treaty), and now this?
Perfect illustration of the hypocrisy; a Navy sailor is looking at six years in Federal prison for doing taking pictures inside a submarine. NOT putting them out on a server where any Chinese hacker can get 'em; nothing of the sort.
Why should we, the people, think that our government HASN'T become the unresponsive, unaccountable tyranny our forefathers feared?
Again, Trump's methodology and rhetoric while being a head of state leaves a lot to be desired. But actions such as the Saucier pardon validates the assertions of those who believed a Trump presidency would refreshingly not be business as usual in Washington, D.C.