On Friday, President Donald Trump issued a rare presidential pardon to Kristian Saucier, a sailor in the Navy who served a year in federal prison for illegally taking photos on a nuclear submarine and then destroying the evidence.
His legal team launched an aggressive publicity campaign that compared his case to that of Hillary Clinton’s, and argued that if she was cleared of any wrongdoing for improperly handling classified information in her emails, then so too should Saucier.
Saucier’s lawyers partnered with Fox News, which talked about his story and its Hillary Clinton angle every chance they got. “They were big supporters of Kris right from the beginning,” Ronald Daigle, Saucier’s pardon lawyer, told the Huffington Post.
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They even engineered an interview with Saucier that aired on Fox and Friends, the president’s favorite TV show, last week.
That was enough to convince Trump that this guy, who took a bunch of photos of classified war technology, got caught, and then ran home and destroyed all the evidence, was definitely deserving of a pardon – despite the fact that he pleaded guilty!
On Saturday, the president took to Twitter to spike the football on the highly dubious and blatantly political move, one that went against the Justice Department’s best judgement and now sets a dangerous precedent for future cases.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 10, 2018
Trump’s pandering to right wing talking points appears to know no bounds, and the move reinforces once again the policy sway that Fox News holds inside this White House.