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President Trump pardons Navy sailor Kristian Saucier charged with taking photos of classified areas inside a nuclear submarine

March 12, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
President Trump pardons Navy sailor Kristian Saucier charged with taking photos of classified areas inside a nuclear submarine

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President Trump has pardoned Navy sailor Kristian Saucier who took pictures of classified areas inside a submarine and served a year in a federal lockup.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders  Friday, revealed that Trump pardoned 31-year-old Kristian Saucier, and added that the president was “appreciative” of his service to the U.S.

“He has been recognized by his fellow service members for his dedication, skill, and patriotic spirit,” Sanders added.

Saucier completed his prison term, but the pardon now clears his name and record, The Hill reports..

Trump has often discussed Saucier’s case when criticizing Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server. In a tweet in January, he referred to the “Deep State Justice Dept” and criticized the federal government for going after a sailor instead of a top aide with the Clinton campaign.

It was the president’s second pardon. He pardoned Joe Arpaio, a six-term sheriff of metro Phoenix, back in August.

Saucier (above) pleaded guilty in 2016 to the unauthorized detention of defense information

Saucier’s lawyer, Ronald Daigle Jr., revealed that his client was “ecstatic. He’s grateful that the president saw there was an injustice and took action on it.”

Saucier pleaded guilty in 2016 to the unauthorized detention of information for taking pictures inside the USS Alexandria while it was in Groton, Connecticut, back in 2009.

Saucier had said previously that he had only wanted the photos as a souvenir.

However, federal prosecutors contended that he was a disgruntled sailor who had put national security at risk by taking pictures showing the submarine’s propulsion system and reactor compartment and then destroyed a laptop and camera.

Kristian Saucier claimed that the sensitivity of the classified information drove his prosecution in the midst of the scandal involving Clinton’s emails.

Saucier, of Vermont, was a 22-year-old machinist mate on the nuclear-powered attack submarine when he snapped the photos.

His attorneys said he knew the photos would be classified but he wanted to show his relatives what he did in the Navy. He maintained that he did not share the photos with any unauthorized recipient.

Trump repeatedly references to the former sailor during the 2016 campaign, bringing attention to the handling of his case and calling it overzealous and politically motivated.

After Trump won the election, Daigle discussed the case with Michael Flynn, the president’s former national security adviser, who encouraged a request for a formal pardon.

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