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A Sailor Did Prison Time Over Classified Photos. Now He's Suing The Government Because Others Didn't
A former Connecticut sailor is seeking to sue the Department of Justice, former President Barack Obama, former FBI director James Comey, former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and FBI agent Peter Strzok, alleging they violated his constitutional right to equal protection under the laws.
Kristian Saucier, 31, who spent a year in federal prison for taking photos in classified areas of a nuclear attack submarine, filed an action Monday in U.S. District Court in Albany, N.Y., seeking a jury trial or $20 million in damages.
"I've always contended that I made a mistake by mishandling classified information," Saucier said by phone Monday afternoon. "My complaint is other people weren't held to the same standard."
Saucier, who now lives in Arlington, Vt., with his wife, Sadie, 38, and their 2-year-old daughter, must get permission to sue the federal government. Jeremy M. Edwards, a spokesman with the Department of Justice, said by email Monday evening that the department did not have anyone available to explain that process.
Saucier is representing himself. His attorney, Ronald Daigle reportedly had his license suspended for a year, effective July 23, for taking $23,000 from the estate of a deceased person without a retainer or authorization to take the funds, according to the Post-Star, a daily newspaper in Glens Falls, N.Y. Daigle helped Saucier get a pardon from President Donald Trump in March.
Saucier on Monday reiterated arguments he's made in court proceedings and in interviews with news outlets, saying that he was treated more harshly than others in higher positions who've mishandled classified information, such as Hillary Clinton and her use of a private email server, and David H. Petraeus, a retired four-star Army general who gave highly classified journals to his biographer with whom he had an affair, and pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified information.
He claims that he was denied due process under the Fifth Amendment; was denied his right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury under the Sixth Amendment, arguing he was not provided a judge advocate general as his counsel; and says his actions should have been handled in a nonjudicial manner by the Navy as is "common practice." He also cites the Fourteenth Amendment in his claim, but that only applies to states, prohibiting them from denying equal protections of the law.
Saucier, who was a machinist's mate aboard the USS Alexandria, a Los Angeles-class attack submarine, from September 2007 to March 2012, took a plea deal in May 2016 that stipulated that he admitted to taking six photographs inside the Alexandria's engine room while the submarine was docked in at the Naval Submarine Base in Groton. The submarine is now based in San Diego.
Saucier was convicted of one count of unauthorized retention of national defense information, a felony. He began his yearlong prison sentence on Oct. 12, 2016. He also received an "other-than-honorable" discharge from the Navy, which limits his eligibility for veteran benefits.
The investigation into Saucier started in March 2012, when his cellphone was found at a waste transfer station in Hampton, Conn. After he was interviewed by the FBI and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service in July 2012, he destroyed a laptop computer, a personal camera, and the camera's memory card, according to the government.
©2018 The Day (New London, Conn.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Top Navy official calls out government lawyers for spying on legal team of Navy SEAL accused of war crimes
In a scathing letter, a top Navy legal official on Sunday expressed "grave ethical concerns" over revelations that government prosecutors used tracking software in emails to defense lawyers in ongoing cases involving two Navy SEALs in San Diego.
The letter, written by David G. Wilson, Chief of Staff of the Navy's Defense Service Offices, requested a response by Tuesday from the Chief of the Navy's regional law offices detailing exactly what type of software was used and what it could do, who authorized it, and what controls were put in place to limit its spread on government networks.
"As our clients learn about these extraordinary events in the media, we are left unarmed with any facts to answer their understandable concerns about our ability to secure the information they must trust us to maintain. This situation has become untenable," Wilson wrote in the letter, which was obtained by Task & Purpose on Monday.
Those really sweet, hand-held drones that the Army bought in January were finally put to the test as they were fielded to some lucky soldiers for the first time at the beginning of May.
For many people, millennials are seen as super-entitled, self-involved, over-sensitive snowflakes who don't have the brains or brawn to, among other noble callings, serve as the next great generation of American warfighters.
Retired Navy Adm. William H. McRaven is here to tell you that you have no idea what you're talking about.
Supreme Court refuses to hear yet another challenge to the controversial Feres Doctrine on military medical malpractice
The Supreme Court on Monday denied a petition to hear a wrongful death case involving the controversial Feres Doctrine — a major blow to advocates seeking to undo the 69-year-old legal rule that bars U.S. service members and their families from suing the government for injury or death deemed to have been brought on by military service.
FORT IRWIN, California -- Anyone who's been here has seen it: the field of brightly painted boulders surrounding a small mountain of rocks that symbolizes unit pride at the Army's National Training Center.
For nearly four decades, combat units have painted their insignias on boulders near the road into this post. It's known as Painted Rocks.