‘Clear double standard’: As Comey denies illegally leaking memo, others prosecuted for mishandling classified material

Former FBI director James Comey, former federal contractor Reality Winner and former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling.

 (FOX/Reuters/AP)

When President Trump lashed out Friday at former FBI Director James Comey for sharing memos about their conversations, the president highlighted the case of a lower-level figure who was given a tough sentence for mishandling classified material.

“Remember sailor!” Trump tweeted.

It was a reference to Kristian Saucier, the former U.S. Navy sailor who served a year behind bars for taking photos of classified areas in a nuclear submarine before being pardoned by Trump this spring.

Comey denies leaking classified information. But The Wall Street Journal reported that at least two of the memos he shared have been to found to contain material now deemed classified.

Critics say Comey, who does not currently face any charges, is being judged on a different standard than others the FBI has prosecuted.

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Kristian Saucier reacts after receiving pardon from Trump

“There is a clear double standard,” Ronald Daigle Jr., an attorney for Saucier, told Fox News.

“My client was sentenced to a year in federal prison, fine, probation, house arrest and a dishonorable discharge from the Navy,” Daigle said. “My client never shared or leaked any classified information. Comey leaked classified information and nothing is being done by the Justice Department. Why?”

"Comey leaked classified information and nothing is being done by the Justice Department. Why?”

– Ronald L. Daigle Jr., an attorney for Kristian Saucier

There are other high-profile, recent examples of lower-level figures who have faced tough sentences for leaking classified information to the media.

Terry Albury, a 39-year-old former Minnesota FBI counterterrorism agent, pleaded guilty this month to leaking classified documents to a reporter. In a statement, the African-American former agent said he knew it was illegal but felt he had to act against a culture in the bureau that often treats minority communities with suspicion and disrespect.



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