The decision not to charge Hillary Clinton for her "extremely careless" handling of classified information is opening a new line of defense for others who stand accused of similar misdeeds.

Mark Zaid, a defense attorney for national security whistleblowers and people accused of mishandling secrets, says he plans to ask for "the Clinton deal" in the future.

And Zaid says he probably can get it.

In 2015, shortly after former CIA Director David Petraeus received a plea deal featuring probation and a fine for sharing highly classified information with his mistress Paula Broadwell, Zaid says he called the Justice Department on behalf of a client accused of taking classified records home.

"We absolutely got on the phone to the prosecutor and said, 'We want the Petraeus sentence. We want the commensurate, parallel sentence.' And we got it!" he says, winning a $5,000 fine and a short probation term instead of possible prison for a now-retired intelligence agency employee.

It's hard to see how this decision makes America safer, and it certainly undermines the rule of law.

Rep. Darrell Issa, the California Republican who is the former chairman of the House Oversight Committee, cited the case of Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Kristian Saucier, who pleaded guilty last week to possession and retention of national security information for taking cellphone photos inside the classified engine room of a nuclear submarine where he worked as a mechanic.

"That person's been prosecuted and he will get five or six years and a dishonorable discharge," Issa told CNN. "There is a double standard."

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