Most people have never heard of Kristian Saucier, but he and his attorneys have gained notoriety for trying to create a new legal defense in recent days. Petty Officer First Class Kristian Saucier was a mechanic who served on the USS Alexandria from 2007-2012. During that time he found himself in private possession of classified materials.
Saucier possessed six photographs of the Los Angeles-class nuclear attack submarine’s propulsion system located in sub’s engine room. He admitted that he knew that taking the pictures was illegal. He says he did it because he wanted to show his future family and children what he did while he was in the Navy.
What makes this case interesting is what Saucier’s attorney asked the judge in the case to consider. In a court filing he wrote, “Mr. Saucier possessed six (6) photographs classified as ‘confidential/restricted,’ far less than Clinton’s 110 emails.” Ultimately the judge sentenced Saucier to one year in prison. His attorneys however, believe invoking the “Clinton Defense” may have helped Saucier avoid a longer prison sentence.
The disgraceful thing is not that Saucier got hammered for possessing pictures of what should be and should remain classified. Rather, the fact that Saucier’s lawyers could raise the idea of the “Clinton Defense” should worry anyone who cares about the rule of law and the protection of classified information.
The FBI’s “She’s possessed classified information, but we are not going to charge her” statement gave rise to this argument. Saucier’s legal team followed the “He’s guilty, but there was no intent to damage national security, so he should get a pass” argument that the FBI used to allow Hillary Clinton to skate free. Unfortunately for Saucier, a NCO is not given the same treatment as the former Secretary of State and current Democratic nominee for President.
Saucier got 12 months in the slammer for six photographs, while Hillary Clinton gets away with putting state secrets on a private server. Both were in the wrong, but only one had to face the repercussions. The decision to charge Saucier should not be controversial, but the decision not to at least recommend charges against Hillary Clinton should concern everyone.