Proving Hillary is too big to jail
A former Navy machinist mate who admitted taking photos inside a nuclear submarine was sentenced to a year in prison Friday, with a Clinton appointed federal judge rebuffing a request for probation in light of authorities deciding not to prosecute Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified information on a private email server as secretary of state.
Kristian Saucier’s attorneys argued in a court filing last week that Clinton had been “engaging in acts similar to Mr. Saucier” with information of much higher classification in Hillary’s case. It would be “unjust and unfair for Mr. Saucier to receive any sentence other than probation for a crime those more powerful than him will avoid,” attorney Derrick Hogan wrote.
But U.S. District Judge Stefan Underhill, yet another liberal Clinton appointee, sentenced Saucier to one year in prison and a $100 fine, along with six months home confinement, 100 hours of community service and a lifetime ban on owning guns, his legal team says. Prosecutors had asked for six years behind bars.
“We’re very pleased,” says Greg Rinckey, another defense attorney for Saucier.
Although relieved, Rinckey does say that “it could be argued here that depending on what your name is, that’s the type of justice you get in the United States.”
Rinckey says he’s not sure if the judge was swayed by significant media attention comparing Saucier’s case with the Clinton email controversy.
“He cryptically made some comments about selective prosecution and how that didn’t play any factor. Do I think it may have? Sure. But I think there was enough mitigation that the judge was able to depart from the sentencing guidelines [on that basis alone],” he says.
Saucier pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of unlawfully retaining national defense information after taking six photos inside the USS Alexandria with his cellphone in 2009. Saucier said he intended to show them to his future children.
The photos were deemed “confidential,” the lowest level for classification unlike Hillary’s Top Secret and Classified leaks.
By contrast, an FBI investigation found Clinton’s private email server contained at least 110 emails with classified information. The probe found eight email chains with “top secret” information, 36 with “secret” information and eight with confidential information.
Clinton was not charged with a crime, but FBI Director James Comey said last month her conduct was “extremely careless.” Comey also said three emails on Clinton’s private server contained markings indicating they contained “confidential” information.
One key difference between the cases: Saucier, 22 years old when he snapped the photos, admitted he knew he was not supposed to have taken them. Clinton, meanwhile, has insisted she did not knowingly send or receive classified information.
Comey said no prosecutor would bring a case without a knowing violation of the statute Saucier admitted violating, which includes provisions requiring either “gross negligence” or “intent … that the information is to be used to the injury of the United States.”
In other words, ignorance of the law is an excuse when your name is Clinton.