A Navy sailor was sentenced to a year in jail Friday for taking pictures of a nuclear propulsion system after he unsuccessfully used the “Hillary defense” in an attempt to avert the charge of unauthorized retention of defense information.
Lawyers for Kristian Saucier, the sailor, attempted to use the Hillary Clinton defense to get him out of hot water for taking pictures of classified systems aboard the USS Alexandria in 2009.
What this defense refers to is the fact that Hillary Clinton managed to dodge criminal charges because the Federal Bureau of Investigation said there was an absence of evidence that she intentionally misused classified info, the Hartford Courant reports.
Prosecutors sloughed off the defense, saying it was essentially “grasping at highly imaginative and speculative straws in trying to further draw a comparison to the matter of Secretary Hillary Clinton based upon virtually no understanding and knowledge of the facts involved, the information at issue, not to mention any issues if intent and knowledge.”
Not only did the defense fail, but U.S. District Judge Stefan Underhill criticized Saucier’s lawyers for even bringing it up in the first place.
“The question of selective prosecution is a very tenuous issue to raise at the time of sentencing,” Underhill noted.
“Both sides have tried to equate this case to other cases,” Underhill added. “But to a very significant degree, Mr. Saucier brought that upon himself because he destroyed the evidence that could have proven his innocence or at least proven he was not acting at the behest of someone else.”
Saucier confessed to taking photos of the submarine back in 2009 when he served as a 22-year-old machinist mate, saying he wanted to show the pictures to his family and future children. Following an interview with the FBI in 2012, he destroyed all evidence of the pictures, meaning the Naval Criminal Investigative Service could not confirm his claims that he did not share the photos with unauthorized people.
“It was a foolish mistake by a very young man,” Saucier’s lawyer, Greg Rinckey, said. “It’s a very sad case because Kristian Saucier is a fine young man. We don’t believe this was really his true character.”
It is likely Saucier will receive an “other than honorable discharge” for his indiscretion.
Saucier plead guilty in May and will head to prison starting on October 12.
Saucier must also remain at home for a six-month period after he is released as the first part of a three-year-long supervised release.
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