Kristian Saucier, a former Navy man, was pardoned by President Donald Trump in a case the accused man compared to Hillary Clinton and her emails.
Saucier was convicted after an investigation into photos he took of classified areas of a nuclear submarine, the U.S.S. Alexandria, aboard which he was working as a machinist’s mate.
Trump touted the pardon on Twitter, writing, “Congratulations to Kristian Saucier, a man who has served proudly in the Navy, on your newly found Freedom. Now you can go out and have the life you deserve!”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Saucier Was Accused of Taking Photos of Classified Areas of a Nuclear Submarine & Using a Hammer to Destroy Evidence
According to the complaint, the FBI and NCIS investigated Saucier for “unauthorized gathering and possession of national defense information, to wit, photographs of classified sections of the U.S.S. Alexandria, a Los Angeles class nuclear attack submarine.” Saucier had taken the photos in 2009, but they were not found until 2012 – by happenstance.
The complaint alleges that Saucier took steps to “intentionally impede, obstruct or influence this FBI and NCIS investigation, from on or about July 16, 2012, to on or about a date unknown but not later than October 31, 2012.” The complaint alleges that Saucier “did knowingly destroy, mutilate and conceal a tangible object, that is, a laptop computer.”
From September 2007 to March 2012, Saucier served as a machinist’s mate aboard the USS Alexandria, which is a United States Navy Los Angeles Class nuclear attack submarine based at the Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut.
On three separate dates in 2009, Saucier, “using the camera on his personal cellular telephone, took photographs of classified spaces, instruments and equipment of the USS Alexandria. These photographs depict information relating to our country’s national defense.”
Following his service on the USS Alexandria, Saucier was assigned to the Naval Nuclear Power Training Unit in Ballston Spa, New York, as an instructor candidate.
He denied being the person who took the photographs when confronted and then, following his interview with the FBI and NCIS, returned “to his then apartment where he collected a laptop computer, a personal camera, and the SD card from the camera, took these items ot the apartment’s basement, and smashed them with a hammer into several pieces.”
Kristian Saucier and his wife, Sadie.
He put the pieces in a plastic garbage bag which he then placed into a cardboard box that he left in the basement of the apartment. His family later “found a broken laptop computer in the woods on his grandfather’s property, which is located in Connecticut,” the complaint says.
In March 2012, a supervisor at a transfer station found a cellular telephone on top of a pile of trash in the middle of a dumpster and believed it had been discarded. After looking at the phone, the supervisor saw photographs that he believed were of a Navy ship and the ship’s instrument panels. He also saw photographs of Saucier, who he “knew from Saucier’s …read more