President Trump issued the second pardon of his presidency Friday to former Navy sailor Kristian Saucier, who learned the news while driving a garbage truck, the only job he could find with a felony conviction.
Saucier was sentenced to a year in prison during the 2016 campaign for taking pictures inside a nuclear submarine. Trump invoked his case repeatedly on the campaign trail, saying he was “ruined” for doing “nothing” compared to Hillary Clinton.
Still, Trump allowed Saucier to serve his full prison sentence. He was releasedin September and returned to the Vermont home he shares with his wife Sadie and their two-year-old daughter.
Saucier, now 31, was 22 years old when he took the cellphone photos in 2009. He pleaded guilty to one count of unauthorized retention of national defense information and his attorneys unsuccessfully requested the “Clinton deal,” meaning little if any punishment.
The six photos found on a cellphone Saucier discarded were deemed “confidential,” the lowest level of classification, even though some depicted the vessel’s nuclear reactor. Clinton, by contrast, sent and received highly classified information on a private email server. In pleading guilty, Saucier admitted destroying evidence after being questioned.
Saucier argued the photos were innocent keepsakes and pointed to two co-workers caught taking photos inside the sub’s engine room who were not prosecuted. Prosecutors cast doubt on the explanation and said his conduct could have harmed the country, though there was no evidence that happened.
I only wish he had done it sooner. Until Hillary is convicted, there is no such crime as mishandling classified information.