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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.
The FBI is treating the recent shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, as a terrorist attack, several media outlets reported on Sunday.
"We work with the presumption that this was an act of terrorism," USA Today quoted FBI Agent Rachel Rojas as saying at a news conference.
WASHINGTON/SEOUL (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un risks losing "everything" if he resumes hostility and his country must denuclearize, after the North said it had carried out a "successful test of great significance."
"Kim Jong Un is too smart and has far too much to lose, everything actually, if he acts in a hostile way. He signed a strong Denuclearization Agreement with me in Singapore," Trump said on Twitter, referring to his first summit with Kim in Singapore in 2018.
"He does not want to void his special relationship with the President of the United States or interfere with the U.S. Presidential Election in November," he said.
The three sailors whose lives were cut short by a gunman at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, on Friday "showed exceptional heroism and bravery in the face of evil," said base commander Navy Capt. Tim Kinsella.
Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, and Airman Apprentice Cameron Scott Walters were killed in the shooting, the Navy has announced.
The Pentagon’s troop deployment denials means nothing when the White House screams ‘fake news’ all the time
The Pentagon has a credibility problem that is the result of the White House's scorched earth policy against any criticism. As a result, all statements from senior leaders are suspect.
We're beyond the point of defense officials being unable to say for certain whether a dog is a good boy or girl. Now we're at the point where the Pentagon has spent three days trying to knock down a Wall Street Journal story about possible deployments to the Middle East, and they've failed to persuade either the press or Congress.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the United States was considering deploying up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East to thwart any potential Iranian attacks. The story made clear that President Trump could ultimately decide to send a smaller number of service members, but defense officials have become fixated on the number 14,000 as if it were the only option on the table.
This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
SIMI VALLEY, Calif. – Gen. David Berger, the US Marine Corps commandant, suggested the concerns surrounding a service members' use of questionable Chinese-owned apps like TikTok should be directed against the military's leadership, rather than the individual troops.
Speaking at the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California, on Saturday morning, Berger said the younger generation of troops had a "clearer view" of the technology "than most people give them credit for."
"That said, I'd give us a 'C-minus' or a 'D' in educating the force on the threat of even technology," Berger said. "Because they view it as two pieces of gear, 'I don't see what the big deal is.'"