A former Navy sailor who was pardoned by President Donald Trump in March after pleading guilty to mishandling classified information is planning to sue former President Barack Obama, former FBI Director James Comey and others in the Obama administration for unequal treatment under the law.
Kristian Saucier, 31, pleaded guilty in 2016 to unlawfully retaining national defense information by taking six photos on his cell phone inside the submarine he was serving on in 2009.
Saucier said the pictures were taken as innocent keepsakes to show his family. The photos were deemed “confidential” after they surfaced, when someone found the sailor’s phone in the trash.
“We’ll highlight the differences in the way Hillary Clinton was prosecuted and how my client was prosecuted,” his lawyer, Ronald Daigle, told Fox News. “We’re seeking to cast a light on this to show that there’s a two-tier justice system and we want it to be corrected.”
During an appearance on FNC in March, Saucier argued, “Obviously, there’s two different sets of laws in this country, for the politically elite and for those lower-level individuals, Americans like myself. And I think that’s very upsetting on a basic level for most people. It should be.”
“I accepted responsibility. I didn’t go to trial. I pleaded guilty. I said, ‘Look, I made a mistake when I was a young kid, and my family still continues … to be punished for that mistake,'” the Navy veteran added.
“Whereas Hillary Clinton not only was not punished, but was allowed to run for the highest office in the country, and that should be very upsetting to the American people.”
Former Navy Sailor Kristian Saucier: I mishandled classified info, pled guilty to that mistake and continue to be punished, meanwhile Hillary Clinton gets to run for president pic.twitter.com/YKx8dgeKQ3
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) March 4, 2018
The Obama administration chose to prosecute him in criminal court rather than military court.
“They used me as an example because of (the backlash over) Hillary Clinton,” Saucier said.
Because of his criminal conviction, Saucier struggled to find work after being dishonorably discharged from the Navy and serving a year in federal prison.
He ended up finding a job as a trash collector in Vermont, but struggled to make ends meet for his wife and their young daughter.
The family’s home went into foreclosure and their cars were repossessed while he was still in prison.
A week after Saucier’s appearance, Trump announced via Twitter that he was pardoning the former sailor.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 10, 2018
“Now you can go out and have the life you deserve!” Trump wrote.
The presidential pardon clears Saucier’s criminal record.
“With a pardon there’s no magic wand that that gets waved and makes everything right,” Saucier said, “But I try to stay positive and look forward.”
The veteran now works on design and engineer projects for an industrial boiler company.
“Things are starting to go in the right direction,” Saucier said. “I work with a group of really great people, I get to use my skills set.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.