An ex-U.S. Navy sailor who was pardoned by President Trump in March is reportedly planning on suing the previous administration alleging unequal protection of the law.
In 2009, Kristian Saucier, a Navy machinist mate at the time, took photos of classified areas of a nuclear submarine. He was subsequently arrested and prosecuted for unlawful retention of national defense information after authorities discovered the images on his phone.
Upon pleading guilty, he served 12 months behind bars and was released from federal custody in September 2017. Trump pardoned him in March 2018. As a result of financial hardship flowing from the criminal conviction, the Sauciers lost their home to foreclosure and their cars to repossession.
Kristian Saucier’s attorney indicated yesterday that a lawsuit is in the works, Fox News reported.
“His lawyer, Ronald Daigle, told Fox News on Monday that the lawsuit, which he expects to file soon in Manhattan, will name the U.S. Department of Justice, former FBI Director James Comey and former President Barack Obama as defendants, among others…’We’ll highlight the differences in the way Hillary Clinton was prosecuted and how my client was prosecuted,’ Daigle said. ‘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.'”
Section 1 in the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees American citizens the equal protection of the laws.
“Trump also made the comparison between Saucier and Clinton, mentioning Saucier’s case during the campaign and tweeting about it earlier this year,” The Hill recalled.
In a recent interview on Fox & Friends, Vermont resident Saucier admitted that he made a mistake at age 22 in a misguided attempt to get some mementos or keepsakes of his Navy service.
The federal government overreacted for political reasons, he implied, against the backdrop of the above-referenced investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of private email server.
“It’s unfortunate that one prosecutor and a couple of FBI agents really just destroyed my life for no reason. This case could have been handled at a much lower level within the military, as it should have been, because I was active duty at the time. And I would have taken my punishment the same way, like a man…it was a clear attempt by the Department of Justice under Obama to use me as a scapegoat to take the heat of Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified information…”
Saucier, 31, was under house arrest at the time of the pardon, and after getting permission, he said that he removed his ankle bracelet (see video clip embedded below).
On July 5, 2016, then FBI Director James Comey famously announced that he would not recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton even though he concluded that the former secretary of state and/or her staff “were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”
On May 31, the president announced that he was giving a full pardon to conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza, an outspoken critic of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. The Obama administration prosecuted D’Souza for a relatively minor campaign finance violation that usually involves just a civil fine. After pleading guilty to one federal charge, D’Souza served eight months in a San Diego halfway house and was on probation at the time of his pardon.
President Trump has indicated that he is considering pardoning domestic diva Martha Stewart and former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, both Democrats. Several additional pardon applications may also be in the pipeline.