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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.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.
This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
Former President George W. Bush is calling for an end to the partial government shutdown, which is about to hit the one-month mark and is currently the longest shutdown in US history.
In an appeal made on Instagram, the 43rd president called on "leaders on both sides to put politics aside, come together, and end this shutdown." The caption was posted with an image of him and former First Lady Laura Bush giving pizza to their Secret Service detail.
A special operations Marine is due in court on March 7 after being arrested last year for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, Task & Purpose has learned.
Staff Sgt. Daniel Christopher Evans was arrested and charged with assault inflicting serious injury on July 29, 2018, according to Jennifer Dandron, a spokeswoman for police in Wilmington, North Carolina. Evans is currently assigned as a Critical Skills Operator with the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, according to the Marine Corps Personnel Locator.
Following Trump's inauguration, some supporters of ground combat integration assumed he would quickly move to reinstate a ban on women in jobs like the infantry. When this did not happen, advocates breathed a collective sigh of relief, and hundreds of qualified women charted a course in history by entering the newly opened occupational fields.
So earlier this week when the Wall Street Journal published an editorial against women in ground combat by conservative political commentator Heather Mac Donald, the inclination of many ground combat integration supporters was to dismiss it outright. But given Trump's proclivity to make knee jerk policy decisions in response to falling approval ratings and the court's tradition of deference to the military when it comes to policies affecting good order and discipline, it would be unwise to assume the 2016 lifting of the ban on women in ground combat is a done deal.