President Trump’s second pardon was a much-anticipated one.
The White House announced Friday that the president pardoned Navy sailor Kristian Saucier, who was put in jail in 2016 for taking unauthorized photos aboard a U.S. submarine–an act President Trump called “nothing” in comparison to Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while Secretary of State, NBC News reports.
Press Secretary Sarah Sanders revealed the pardon, noting the sailor’s “dedication, skill, and patriotic spirit” and saying that “the president is appreciative of Mr. Saucier’s service to the country.”
Saucier, a petty officer, was sentenced to 12 months in prison for using his personal cell phone to take photos of the vessel propulsion system in the USS Alexandria’s engine room. The pictures were classified as “confidential,” the lowest classification level.
In his defense, Saucier cited the classified emails found on Clinton’s private email server. Trump adopted the argument to question the Democrat’s fitness as a presidential candidate. At one point, he said that Saucier’s offense was “nothing” compared to Clinton’s, the Washington Examiner reported.
On another occasion, the president said:
“They put him in jail. And you see what she does and she’s allowed to run for president. Folks do you know what it tells you? The system is rigged, and I’ve been saying that for a long time.
“It’s an old submarine, believe me, they have pictures of that submarine that nobody knows about, probably, right?”
In January, Trump again invoked Saucier in a tweet urging the Justice Department to further investigate Clinton and the FBI’s handling of her case.
Crooked Hillary Clinton’s top aid, Huma Abedin, has been accused of disregarding basic security protocols. She put Classified Passwords into the hands of foreign agents. Remember sailors pictures on submarine? Jail! Deep State Justice Dept must finally act? Also on Comey & others
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2018
“I think it should be upsetting for all American people that we’re held to a different standard than crooked politicians,” Saucier said in reaction to the president tweet.
The family’s cars were repossessed while he was in prison and he was still required to wear an ankle monitor until his pardon.
The former sailor said the felony conviction made it hard to find work. Saucier supports his wife and daughter by working as a garbage man, according to the Washington Examiner.
Waking up a free man, Saucier told Fox News’ Pete Hegseth he didn’t believe the pardon was true at first as he praised the president as “an amazing guy.” He also denounced the handling of the case that “destroyed” his life, blaming former President Obama for using him “as a scapegoat to take the heat off Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified information.”