Maj. Jason Brezler has dedicated his life to protecting his fellow Americans — first as a Marine fighting in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and now as a Marine reservist and member of the Fire Department of New York.
But despite his service, Brezler was forced out of the Marine Corps in 2015 for sharing one classified email during his 15 years of service.
The Washington Post reports that Brezler was stateside when he sent an email in 2012 warning his deployed colleagues about an Afghan police chief, Sarwar Jan, who worked at their post and was “crooked” and “sexually abused” boys, attaching a classified document including allegations that he was part of the Taliban.
His warning fell on deaf ears. More than two weeks later, one of the older boys – who was a victim of Jan’s abuse – shot and killed three Marines, wounding a fourth.
— James W. Weirick (@JamesWWeirick) August 20, 2015
Immediately following the ambush, Brezler was accused of using an “improper email account” to pass along the message, as well as sending “classified information”–something he willingly admitted to.
After a three-year investigation, a senior Navy official decided to take Brezler to court and pursue dismissing him from the military.
Fast forward to July 5, 2016, when the FBI director admitted that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent 110 emails said to contain “classified” information. He then announced that she will face no criminal charges or other punishment.
The presumptive Democratic nominee also had dozens of other email chains containing “confidential,” “secret,” and “top secret” information.
Now, Brezler’s lawyer says he will use the FBI’s and Department of Justice’s decision not to reprimand Clinton as evidence in his own legal battle.
Attorney Michael J. Bowe tells the Washington Post he’ll juxtapose the two cases and their outcomes to prove how “egregious” Brezler’s punishment was. From the Post:
“It is impossible to reconcile President Obama’s statement that Clinton’s intentional act of setting up a secret, unsecured email server did not detract ‘from her excellent ability to carry out her duties’ while Brezler received a ‘completely opposite finding… involving infinitely less sensitive and limited information.”
Since the story broke four years ago, politicians and fellow service members alike have rushed to his defense, saying his actions were the result of a life or death situation, and that Brezler’s separation from the Marines would be “a loss for the country.”
Others have since expressed their outrage over Brezler’s treatment in comparison to Hillary Clinton’s:
— Robyn (@bermudababe76) July 6, 2016
— Gumaraid ?? (@Gumaraid) July 7, 2016
— Beth ❌ Reynolds (@BethReynoldsGSD) July 5, 2016
— Tyson Manker (@tyson_manker) May 29, 2016
A federal judge is expected to issue a ruling on Brezler’s case in October.