Trump preparing to use a pardon to highlight the depth of Hillary's national security crimes
On the campaign trail, Donald Trump repeatedly referred to the case of Navy sailor Kristian Saucier, who was sentenced to one year in prison for taking pictures on a submarine that were deemed “confidential” – the lowest rung on the ladder of national security secrets. Candidate Trump compared Saucier’s severe punishment for this comparatively minor infraction to Hillary Clinton’s exoneration by James Comey for far more serious breaches in using an unprotected server in a bathroom to house top secret and beyond documents.
This usually was a cue for the crowd to chant, “Lock her up! Lock her up!”
The next chapter is about to dawn. Steve Nelson of the Examiner reports:
The Justice Department is processing a pardon application from former Navy sailor Kristian Saucier after denying him a waiver to apply for a pardon last year.
This is a departure from normal pardon practice:
People convicted of federal crimes generally have to wait five years after being sentenced before they can apply for a pardon, and a waiver request from Saucier was denied in May, even though Trump told Fox News days after taking office in January 2017 that he was considering a pardon.
In its waiver-denial letter to Saucier’s then-attorney Jeffrey Addicott, the Justice Department’s Office of the Pardon Attorney wrote on May 30: “Upon careful review of the information you submitted, we have concluded that it would not be appropriate to grant a waiver of the waiting period in Mr. Saucier’s case to permit him to apply for a pardon at this time.”
But, apparently pressure from above has been applied:
In late February, the Justice Department sent another letter, saying Saucier's pardon application is now being processed. “We will now be processing the application for presidential pardon of your client, Kristian Saucier,” the Office of the Pardon Attorney wrote to Addicott, who forwarded the letter to Saucier’s current attorney, Ronald Daigle.
The new letter, dated Feb. 20, requests detailed information about Saucier’s criminal, employment, and medical history, in addition to information about his current civic engagement. The questions focus on specific details about Saucier’s life.
Assuming that these formalities are concluded, the stage will be set for President Trump to sign a presidential pardon in front of the cameras, with a grateful Saucier (who has completed his term) beside him, ready to describe his infraction and the prison term he already served, and compare it to Hillary Clinton escaping indictment or punishment through James Comey taking upon himself an authority he did not have, to decide that she should not be indicted.
It should be quite a show, in the hands of television's greatest reality TV producer.