President Donald Trump pardoned Navy sailor Kristian Saucier who was jailed in October 2016 for taking photos aboard a U.S. nuclear submarine, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced in a Friday press briefing.
Saucier was convicted of unauthorized retention of national defense information for holding onto the photos aboard the submarine that show classified technology. Trump repeatedly invoked Saucier’s case as evidence of the alleged wrongdoing of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign.
Trump frequently criticized Clinton for her use of a private email server while serving as secretary of state. He noted during the campaign that Saucier did “nothing” compared to Clinton.
“They put him in jail. And you see what she does and she’s allowed to run for president. Folks do you know what it tells you? The system is rigged, and I’ve been saying that for a long time,” Trump said, adding “It’s an old submarine, believe me, they have pictures of that submarine that nobody knows about, probably, right?”
Saucier maintained throughout his proceedings that he did not mean to distribute classified information and noted that other sailors had posted similar photos without suffering any consequences.