by Temerity Forthright
Former Petty First Officer Kristian Saucier has been sentenced to one year in prison and fined $100 for taking six unauthorized photos of a nuclear submarine’s engine room. PFO Saucier served as a mechanic onboard the nuclear submarine USS Alexandria from 2007 to 2012. The photos were taken in 2009.
Saucier had a secret security clearance and admitted he knew taking the photos was unauthorized. He reportedly wanted to show the photos to his family in the future so they would know what he did while he was in the Navy.
PFO Saucier pleaded guilty in federal court in May to a single count of “unauthorized possession and retention of national defense information.”
Defense attorney Derrick Hogan argued for leniency by citing FBI director James Comey’s decision not to charge Hillary Clinton for her mishandling of secret information in over 100 of her emails.
Prosecutors said in court papers that the defendant’s attorney was “grasping at highly imaginative and speculative straws” by comparing his client’s actions to Clinton’s emails.
But Greg Rinckey, another of Saucier’s defense attorneys, noted it has been shown that “Clinton sent and received emails that were marked classified at the time, contrary to her sworn testimony.” The attorney also argued that Saucier’s intent was “benign.”
Saucier could have been sentenced to as much as six and one-half years in prison. Although U.S. District Court Judge Stefan Underhill never directly named Hillary
Clinton during the sentencing hearing, Saucier’s attorneys said they believe using the “Clinton defense” may have served to lessen their client’s time behind bars.
Saucier’s attorneys also pointed out how “unfair and unjust” it would be for their client to receive anything other than probation for a crime for which “those more powerful than him” will likely avoid prosecution altogether.
Judge Underhill warned against “selective enforcement” of laws involving important information. Judge Underhill also ordered Saucier to serve six months of house arrest following his release from prison and to perform 100 hours of community service. Saucier is also banned from owning firearms.
Saucier avoided an obstruction of justice charge by entering a guilty plea. He attempted to destroy evidence by disposing of the cell phone that stored the six unauthorized photos.
Hillary Clinton also attempted to destroy evidence. The FBI has spent months retrieving tens of thousands of the emails she deleted from her unsecured server, some of which were classified and secret. Hillary even used software designed to completely erase all evidence of her emails.
Saucier will report to prison in October. Clinton will continue to run for president in November’s election.