Speaking from the White House Friday, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters President Trump has pardoned U.S. Navy Kristian Saucier sailor who was charged and convicted of taking photos of classified areas on the submarine USS Alexandria.
"[Saucier] 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," Sanders said. "The sentencing judge found Mr. Saucier's offense stands in contrast with his commendable military service. The President is grateful to Mr. Saucier for his service to the country."
Saucier was sentenced in 2016. More on the background of the case:
The investigation began in March 2012, when Saucier's cellphone, with pictures of the submarine still on it, was found at a waste-transfer station in Connecticut.
Saucier pleaded guilty to one count of unauthorized possession and retention of national defense information in May 2016. Three months later, he was sentenced to a year in jail, three years of supervised release, six months of home confinement, and 100 hours of community service. He was also given an "other than honorable" discharge from the Navy.
In July 2015, Saucier was charged with taking photos of classified spaces, instruments, and equipment inside the USS Alexandria on at least three occasions in 2009.
Court papers also said Saucier attempted to destroy his laptop, camera, and camera memory card after he was interviewed by the FBI and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service in July 2012.
On the campaign trail, Trump regularly compared Saucier's case to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's mishandling of classified information and said he was treated unfairly for his actions.
Crooked Hillary Clinton’s top aid, Huma Abedin, has been accused of disregarding basic security protocols. She put Classified Passwords into the hands of foreign agents. Remember sailors pictures on submarine? Jail! Deep State Justice Dept must finally act? Also on Comey & others— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2018
This is the second pardon issued by President Trump. The first came last year when he issued a pardon for former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio.