A source close to the FBI’s criminal investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s “home brew” email server says it is “not a coincidence” Romanian hacker “Guccifer” was extradited to the U.S. nine days ago.
FBI agents trying to determine if the presidential hopeful violated a subsection of the Espionage Act related to “gross negligence” during her time as President Obama’s top diplomat are likely thrilled that cyber-criminal Marcel Lehel Lazar is in U.S custody. Lazar’s successful hacking of Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal’s email revealed to the world that clintonemail.com was being used for official business.
A Fox News source told Catherine Herridge, the network’s chief intelligence correspondent, that it was “no coincidence” Lazar was extradited. Ron Hosko, the former assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division from 2012-2014, concurred.
“Because of the proximity to Sidney Blumenthal and the activity involving Hillary’s emails, [the timing] seems to be something beyond curious,” Hosko said, the network reported Friday.
Lazar, 44, appeared in an Alexandria, Virginia, federal courtroom for a detention hearing on Tuesday. He is expected to be in the U.S. for 18 months. He was previously serving out a seven-year prison sentence for hacking crimes in Arad, Romania.
“I used to read [Clinton’s] memos for six or seven hours … and then do the gardening,” Lazar told a Romanian reporter during a 2015 interview, Fox reported.
The conservative website Hotair noted Friday that Lazar’s hacking makes it hard to imagine the FBI not prosecuting Clinton for violations of 18 U.S. Code 793, which covers rules on gathering, transmitting or losing defense information.
“(f) 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.”
“This development, if it pans out, points directly at Hillary herself. It was her server; it was in her possession; and she deliberately chose to evade the law and the security provided by the U.S. government for classified information and its transmission,” Hotair’s Ed Morrissey concluded.
Complicating matters for Clinton is her signature on a Sensitive Compartmented Information Nondisclosure Agreement she signed after becoming secretary of state. The document placed the onus on her to recognize sensitive intelligence.
“I understand that it is my responsibility to consult with appropriate management authorities in the Department … in order to ensure that I know whether information or material within my knowledge or control that I have reason to believe might be SCI,” the agreement said, the Washington Free Beacon reported Nov. 6, 2015.
Clinton told NBC’s Matt Lauer on Friday that she did nothing wrong and will never be charged with a crime linked to her personal email server.
“There is not even the remotest chance that is going to happen,” Clinton said. “But look, [Republicans have] been after me, as I say, for 25 years. And they have said things about me repeatedly that have been proven to be not only false but kind of ridiculous.”
FBI agents assigned to the investigation are also trying to determine whether co-mingling of the Clinton Foundation and State Department business violated public corruption laws.
Bryan Pagliano, a State Department employee who helped set up and manage Clinton’s server, was given immunity from prosecution by the agency.