On Friday, President Donald Trump issued the second pardon of his presidency to former Navy sailor Kristian Saucier. Saucier took pictures aboard a nuclear submarine when he was 22 to show his family what his sub looked like. But that was against the law and that mistake cost him dearly. He lost his Navy career, was received an other than honorable discharge and served a year in jail. He was unable to get a job and has been working as a garbage man to try to keep his family afloat. And now the former sailor is responding with gratitude for Trump’s actions.
He had been convicted of “unauthorized retention of national defense information” which is a felony.
Trump had frequently spoken of the case on the campaign trail noting how much Saucier had suffered compared to no action being taken against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her actions is sending and receiving classified information on an unsecured private server.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also noted Saucier’s commendable record prior to the picture taking.
“The president has pardoned Kristian Saucier, a Navy submariner,” Sanders said in a press briefing Friday afternoon. “Mr. Saucier was 22 years old at the time of his offenses and has served out his 12-months sentence. He has been recognized by his fellow service members for his dedication, skill and patriotic spirit.”
“While serving, he regularly mentored younger sailors and served as an instructor for new recruits. The sentencing judge found that Mr. Saucier’s offense stands in contrast to his commendable military service. The president is appreciative of Mr. Saucier’s service to the country.”
Saucier, who was still being held to house arrest even after the year in jail, said he couldn’t believe it and that he felt liberated. And he was very grateful that Trump personally called him as well.
“I feel I can hope for the future now,” Saucier said. “I can live a normal life. I can take my daughter to different places, I can do all these things with my family.”
One of his priorities is to see his 94-year-old grandfather, who lives in Connecticut. Saucier said it pained him that he could not see his grandmother in Connecticut before she died.
And he was very grateful that Trump personally called him as well.
Saucier repeatedly said he recognized that he had made a mistake when he took the photographs to show his family the setting in which he worked. He maintained, though, that the treatment of him by federal authorities was overzealous.
“I thanked the president for helping my family get our lives back,” he said, referring to the call from Trump he received Friday night. “He’s got so much to do and to take the time to do something about this and to call me, it’s just amazing. I’m so overwhelmed.”
“I fought so hard in the military for our freedom, I spent 11 years defending our freedom,” Saucier said. “I’m thankful that I will be able to have those freedoms.”
His lawyer is now working to see if he can get his military discharge amended to an honorable discharge so that will help him in future employment opportunities.
It was a mistake and he was punished, severely.
But now, because of Trump’s actions, he can actually have a life again and provide for his family.
[Note: This post was written by Nick Arama]