Kristian Saucier, a 29-year-old Navy machinist who pleaded guilty to espionage charges after taking photographs of classified areas of a nuclear submarine, said he should get leniency because Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was not punished for mishandling classified emails.
“Most recently, Democratic Presidential Candidate and former Secretary of State Hilary [sic] Clinton...has come under scrutiny for engaging in acts similar to Mr. Saucier,” defense attorneys wrote in a court brief, according to The Hill.
The FBI sharply criticized Clinton's private server setup, as well as her handling of more than 100 classified emails, which could have been easily hacked by foreign agents.
“However, the FBI recently recommended Mrs. Clinton not be brought up on any charges as she lacked ‘intent,'” said attorney Derrick Hogan, who added that Saucier had merely six photos on a cellphone, while Clinton had more than 100 classified emails.
Republican Rep. Darrel Issa of California also said he perceives a "double standard."
"The Clintons and others at the top get to live by a different set of rules than everyone else," Issa said, according to NJ.com. "The standard has to be the same for that lowly sailor."
Although he has already pleaded guilty to espionage charges, Hogan noted that this only means he admitted to a technical violation and had no intent to send or sell the photos to foreign governments.
According to the Military Times, in March, 2012, Saucier had been making regular trips to a garbage dump in Hampton, Connecticut, because he was remodeling his home. Apparently, he left his cellphone on top of a dumpster during one of those trips and a Navy sergeant happened to find it. When he turned it on, he found photos taken on a submarine, as well as photos of Saucier, which made it easy to determine who the phone belonged to.
The photos were of control panels and a reactor compartment.
Federal sentencing guidelines suggest Saucier get 6 1/2 years in prison, according to The Hill.
“Mr. Saucier has new responsibilities as a father, husband and grandfather, and has grown out of the mistakes he made in his early twenties,” Saucier's legal team said. “Therefore, at 29 years old, any sentence of confinement will be greater than necessary.