The Navy sailor pardoned for taking photographs aboard a nuclear submarine is speaking out about the circumstances surrounding his criminal prosecution, which was initiated under the Obama administration.
Kristian Saucier, the sailor who was jailed for the national security violations, made pointed accusations against former president Obama for the sentence, while former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton evaded criminal charges for similar infractions. Saucier provided an exclusive interview to Fox News.
“The president has pardoned Kristian Saucier, a navy submariner. Mr. Saucier was 22 years old at the time of his offences and has served out his 12-month sentence. He has been recognized by his fellow service-members for his dedication, skill and patriotic spirit. The president is appreciative of Mr. Saucier’s service to the country,” Sarah Sanders said at a press conference.
“That was the press secretary yesterday,” Fox News reporter Pete Hegseth said. “Well, former Navy machinist joins us now for an exclusive interview. Sir, thank you very much for joining. What it must have felt like today… to wake up as a free man. You were a felon yesterday. Today you’re free. How are you feeling?” he asked.
“Pretty good,” Saucier said. “We’re very grateful to the president for following through with his promise to help our family out. He is an amazing man and this is just one of the many great things that he’s done in his term. You know, I got to speak with him briefly yesterday and what an amazing guy. Just to be able to take time out of his busy schedule to speak with me and to turn my family’s life around and give us our lives back.”
“You felt like a forgotten man in many ways and the type of person the president said he would remember and in this case absolutely he has,” Hegseth said. “You were on our program last week, you weren’t sure whether or not something like this would happen. Then you found out, when did you find out and how did you find out that you had been pardoned?”
“Well, I was at work as a garbage man and my wife texted me and said ‘you’ve been pardoned’ and I kind of thought she was messing with me,” he said, “so I said ‘okay, yeah, sure,’ and then she sent me a picture of the actual signed pardon and I couldn’t believe it.”
“How did she find out?” Hegseth asked.
“The White House contacted my attorney, Ronald Dagle and his wife, and said hey, you know, we want you guys to know that you’re getting pardoned and so that was pretty amazing,” he responded.
“And you go home and you immediately cut the ankle bracelet off because you were still on house arrest is that right?” the reporter asked.
“That’s correct, yes,” Saucier said. “We got permission to cut my ankle bracelet off so now I’m no longer on house arrest which is amazing.”
“I think the fact that you asked for permission to cut your ankle bracelet off after the president pardoned speaks to the way you conducted yourself through all of this, aboveboard, honest about it,” Hegseth commented. “You felt bad and remorse and served a year in prison even though you had no intent to share any photos it was more accidental than anything else. What has it been like to go through and how is the light at the end of the tunnel here?”
“Well its obviously been for somebody like myself whose, you know, patriotic and all I wanted to do was serve my country and I honestly believe the systems that went after me were put in place to protect people like me until I was run through the ringer,” Saucier said. “And it’s unfortunate because, you know, I still love this country. It’s still the greatest country in the world and I believe president is taking it back to that place where it needs to be.
“But you know, it’s unfortunate that one prosecutor and a couple FBI agents really just destroyed my life for no reason,” he added. “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. I made a mistake when I was a young kid, it was a misguided attempt to have some mementos, and it should have never reached the level like it did. And I believe President Trump saw that and he spoke about my case.”
“It was a clear attempt by the Department of Justice… under Obama to use me as a scapegoat to take the heat off Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified information,” he added.
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