Hacker Guccifer says he breached Clinton email server: 'It was easy'

The Romanian hacker known as Guccifer told Fox News that he repeatedly and easily hacked the private email server used by Hillary Clinton and that there were up to ten others who were also able to gain access.

Marcel Lehel Lazar says he has copies of Clinton emails in his archives.  In March 2013, Lazar, writing under the name Guccifer, leaked several emails between Hillary confidant Sydney Blumenthal and Clinton.  It was through Blumenthal's account that he was able to gain entry to the private server, he says.

Lazar told Fox News exactly how he was able to hack the server.  I.T. experts contacted by the network say his procedure is "plausible."  But it should be noted that, at this point, there is no confirmation of Lazar's claims.

Former State Department IT staffer Bryan Pagliano, who installed and maintained the server, has been granted immunity by the Department of Justice and is cooperating with the FBI in its ongoing criminal investigation into Clinton’s use of the private server. An intelligence source told Fox News last month that Lazar also could help the FBI make the case that Clinton’s email server may have been compromised by a third party.

Asked what he would say to those skeptical of his claims, Lazar cited “the evidence you can find in the Guccifer archives as far as I can remember." 

Writing under his alias Guccifer, Lazar released to media outlets in March 2013 multiple exchanges between Blumenthal and Clinton. They were first reported bythe Smoking Gun

It was through the Blumenthal compromise that the Clintonemail.com accounts were first publicly revealed.

As recently as this week, Clinton said neither she nor her aides had been contacted by the FBI about the criminal investigation. Asked whether the server had been compromised by foreign hackers, she told MSNBC on Tuesday, “No, not at all.”

Recently extradited, Lazar faces trial Sept. 12 in the Eastern District of Virginia. He has pleaded not guilty to a nine-count federal indictment for his alleged hacking crimes in the U.S. Victims are not named in the indictment but reportedly include Colin Powell, a member of the Bush family and others including Blumenthal. 

Lazar spoke extensively about Blumenthal’s account, noting his emails were “interesting” and had information about “the Middle East and what they were doing there.”

After first writing to the accused hacker on April 19, Fox News accepted two collect calls from him, over a seven-day period, before meeting with him in person at the jail. During these early phone calls, Lazar was more guarded.

After the detention center meeting, Fox News conducted additional interviews by phone and, with Lazar's permission, recorded them for broadcast.  

While Lazar's claims cannot be independently verified, three computer security specialists, including two former senior intelligence officials, said the process described is plausible and the Clinton server, now in FBI custody, may have an electronic record that would confirm or disprove Guccifer’s claims.

This is very bad news for Clinton, as Charles Cook, writing in NRO, points out:

For the sake of argument, suppose that, as he claims, he still has copies of the e-mails he supposedly downloaded (he says he has “two gigabytes” of data). There’s no way that wouldn’t be absolutely devastating to Clinton.

18 USC 793(f)(1)-(2) holds that:

Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense,

1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or

 (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer— Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

As far as I can see, Clinton is guilty of violating at least two federal laws regardless of whether Guccifer can corroborate his claims. Nevertheless, if he were to have the right set of e-mails — or to have solid proof that he’d looked inside or copied material from the ”hundreds of folders” he found — it is almost impossible to envision Clinton escaping without being charged. 

Sorry, Charles, but it's hardly "impossible."  All will depend on how lawyers at the Justice Department interpret the law.  Given what we've seen in the past from these characters, I would fully expect them to bend over backwards to get Clinton off the hook – or, at least, drastically reduce the charges that could be filed against her.

Timing is everything.  The FBI isn't even close to finishing its investigation, given that agents have yet to interview Clinton and her top aide Huma Abedin.  It seems likely that nothing will happen until after the Democratic convention in late July.  If that's the case, the DoJ may hold off on making a decision whether to indict Clinton until after the election – a travesty of justice that would put an exclamation point on the Obama era of lawlessness.

The Romanian hacker known as Guccifer told Fox News that he repeatedly and easily hacked the private email server used by Hillary Clinton and that there were up to ten others who were also able to gain access.

Marcel Lehel Lazar says he has copies of Clinton emails in his archives.  In March 2013, Lazar, writing under the name Guccifer, leaked several emails between Hillary confidant Sydney Blumenthal and Clinton.  It was through Blumenthal's account that he was able to gain entry to the private server, he says.

Lazar told Fox News exactly how he was able to hack the server.  I.T. experts contacted by the network say his procedure is "plausible."  But it should be noted that, at this point, there is no confirmation of Lazar's claims.

Former State Department IT staffer Bryan Pagliano, who installed and maintained the server, has been granted immunity by the Department of Justice and is cooperating with the FBI in its ongoing criminal investigation into Clinton’s use of the private server. An intelligence source told Fox News last month that Lazar also could help the FBI make the case that Clinton’s email server may have been compromised by a third party.

Asked what he would say to those skeptical of his claims, Lazar cited “the evidence you can find in the Guccifer archives as far as I can remember." 

Writing under his alias Guccifer, Lazar released to media outlets in March 2013 multiple exchanges between Blumenthal and Clinton. They were first reported bythe Smoking Gun

It was through the Blumenthal compromise that the Clintonemail.com accounts were first publicly revealed.

As recently as this week, Clinton said neither she nor her aides had been contacted by the FBI about the criminal investigation. Asked whether the server had been compromised by foreign hackers, she told MSNBC on Tuesday, “No, not at all.”

Recently extradited, Lazar faces trial Sept. 12 in the Eastern District of Virginia. He has pleaded not guilty to a nine-count federal indictment for his alleged hacking crimes in the U.S. Victims are not named in the indictment but reportedly include Colin Powell, a member of the Bush family and others including Blumenthal. 

Lazar spoke extensively about Blumenthal’s account, noting his emails were “interesting” and had information about “the Middle East and what they were doing there.”

After first writing to the accused hacker on April 19, Fox News accepted two collect calls from him, over a seven-day period, before meeting with him in person at the jail. During these early phone calls, Lazar was more guarded.

After the detention center meeting, Fox News conducted additional interviews by phone and, with Lazar's permission, recorded them for broadcast.  

While Lazar's claims cannot be independently verified, three computer security specialists, including two former senior intelligence officials, said the process described is plausible and the Clinton server, now in FBI custody, may have an electronic record that would confirm or disprove Guccifer’s claims.

This is very bad news for Clinton, as Charles Cook, writing in NRO, points out:

For the sake of argument, suppose that, as he claims, he still has copies of the e-mails he supposedly downloaded (he says he has “two gigabytes” of data). There’s no way that wouldn’t be absolutely devastating to Clinton.

18 USC 793(f)(1)-(2) holds that:

Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense,

1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or

 (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer— Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

As far as I can see, Clinton is guilty of violating at least two federal laws regardless of whether Guccifer can corroborate his claims. Nevertheless, if he were to have the right set of e-mails — or to have solid proof that he’d looked inside or copied material from the ”hundreds of folders” he found — it is almost impossible to envision Clinton escaping without being charged. 

Sorry, Charles, but it's hardly "impossible."  All will depend on how lawyers at the Justice Department interpret the law.  Given what we've seen in the past from these characters, I would fully expect them to bend over backwards to get Clinton off the hook – or, at least, drastically reduce the charges that could be filed against her.

Timing is everything.  The FBI isn't even close to finishing its investigation, given that agents have yet to interview Clinton and her top aide Huma Abedin.  It seems likely that nothing will happen until after the Democratic convention in late July.  If that's the case, the DoJ may hold off on making a decision whether to indict Clinton until after the election – a travesty of justice that would put an exclamation point on the Obama era of lawlessness.