A former Navy submariner sent to prison for photographing his ship's classified engine compartments has filed a presidential clemency request, arguing that President-elect Donald Trump should realize the sailor was a "scapegoat" amid the FBI probe into Hillary Clinton's mishandling of classified material.
The paperwork was filed Monday with the Justice Department's office of the pardon attorney, which now will conduct an investigation.
The case of former Machinist Mate 1st Class Kristian Saucier has become a cause celebre for conservatives. They watched the young sailor go to prison for carelessness with classified information while Mrs. Clinton avoided any punishment from the Obama administration.
The inmate's mother, Kathleen Saucier, became his public advocate in TV interviews during the presidential campaign. She told The Washington Times that her message to Mr. Trump, who takes office Jan. 20, is: "I would like to say to Mr. Trump that I believe that he's our hope to re-evaluate the way things are done in our government and that we, as American patriots, should never have to be in the position that myself and my family and I am sure many others have been."
Saucier pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to a charge of unauthorized retention of defense information and was sentenced Aug. 16 to a year in prison. For what he calls a "keepsake," he took six cellphone pictures of his work area aboard the nuclear attack submarine USS Alexandria in 2009. They remained in his phone.