President Trump has pardoned former Navy sailor Kristian Saucier who was convicted of breaking laws by taking a photo inside a nuclear submarine, the White House said Friday.
The case gained national attention because the prosecution of Mr. Saucier contrasted sharply with the Obama Justice Department decision not to bring charges against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified material on her secret email server.
Mr. Saucier’s attorney unsuccessfully used a “Hillary Clinton defense” that argued his client couldn’t be held to a higher legal standard than Mrs. Clinton.
A federal judge in August sentenced Mr. Saucier, former Navy machinist, to one year in prison and a $100 fine.
In announcing the pardon, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders cited Mr. Saucier’s otherwise exemplary service in the Navy.
“Mr. Saucier was 22 years old at the time of his offenses and has served out his 12-month sentence. He has been recognized by his fellow service members for his dedication, skill and patriotic spirit,” said Mrs. Sanders.
She added, “The president is appreciative of Mr. Saucier’s service to the country.”
Mr. Saucier admitted to taking a half-dozen photos of the USS Alexandria’s classified propulsion system while working as a machinist in its engine room in 2009. He pleaded guilty in May 2016 to one count of unauthorized possession and retention of national defense information.