A sailor serving on a US Navy submarine took six photographs inside while he was aboard. Petty Officer First Class - Machinist Mate Kristian Saucier was 22 years old at the time when he took the snapshots that he hoped “to one day show his family and future children what he did while he was in the Navy.” Saucier is now 29 and will face sentencing on August 19 after pleading guilty to charges of having taken photographs inside restricted areas of the sub that included the nuclear reactor. Those areas are classified. He was serving on board the USS Alexandria -- a Los Angeles class nuclear attack sub based in Groton, Connecticut.
 
Saucier is facing possible $250,000 in fines and 10 years in a federal penitentiary. 
 
According to a Department of Justice press release:
 
"Saucier had a secret clearance and knew that the photos depicted classified material and that he was not authorized to take them.  He retained these photos and failed to deliver them to any officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it.
 
"The investigation began in March 2012 when Saucier’s cellphone was found at a waste transfer station in Hampton, Connecticut.  Saucier was interviewed by the FBI and Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) in July 2012 and was confronted with the classified images from his phone.  Following that interview and in an effort to impede the federal investigation, Saucier returned to his home and immediately destroyed a laptop computer, a personal camera and the camera’s memory card.  Pieces of a laptop computer were subsequently found in the woods on a property in Connecticut owned by a member of Saucier’s family."  
 
His attorney is pleading for leniency in sentencing, citing the 110 classified emails that Hillary Clinton exposed on her private email server, possibly to foreign intelligence agencies. FBI Director James Comey, following an investigation that took several years and millions of dollars concluded that Clinton was “extremely careless” in her mishandling of classified materials while serving as Secretary of State. Comey said of her actions: “Any reasonable person should have known that an unclassified system was no place” for that information.
 
Clinton at that time was in her 60s and was a former First Lady and US Senator. She has not faced criminal charges for her actions. 
 
Comey said that the former secretary of state should not be prosecuted because he had concluded that she had no “intent” to break the law, despite others’ reading of the relevant federal statutes on the handling of classified information.
 
As a result of the investigation, the FBI found 110 emails on Clinton’s server that were classified at the time when they were transmitted or received. This came despite Clinton’s insistence that she at no time had sent or received any classified emails. 
 
“Those are facts, facts delivered by the Justice Department of a Democratic administration,” wrote Washington Post reporter Chris Cillizza. “And those facts run absolutely counter to the narrative put forth by the Clinton operation: that this whole thing was a Republican witch-hunt pushed by a bored and adversarial media.”
 
Attorney Derrick Hogan, who is Saucier’s lawyer, is demanding equal treatment for his client. Writing to the court, Hogan contended, “It will be unjust and unfair for Mr. Saucier to receive any sentence other than probation for a crime those more powerful than him will likely avoid.” Hogan continued, saying: “Mr. Saucier possessed six photographs classified as ‘confidential/restricted,’ far less than Clinton’s 110 emails.”
 
"It is because of his remorsefulness and acknowledgement of responsibility, we respectfully request the Court to sentence to Kristian Saucier to a term of probatation as it will satisfy the statutory goals of sentencing and constitute a sentence that is 'sufficient, but not greater than necessary.' See Kimbrough v. United States, 552 U.S. 85, 101 (2007) (quoting 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a))."
 
Saucier is a high school graduate. He is married and has four children. Clinton is a graduate of exclusive Wellesley College and Harvard’s law college. 

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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