Clinton Hacker 'Guccifer' Set to Plead Guilty This Week
The Romanian computer hacker who obtained some of Hillary Clinton's emails after breaking into Sydney Blumenthal's email account is expected to change his plea guilty this week, after originally pleading not guilty. Marcel Lazar, known as "Guccifer," was extradited from Romania in March to face multiple U.S. charges related to his unauthorized access into protected computers. It's not clear which charges he will be pleading guilty to, but there is speculation that the move is part of a deal to cooperate with federal officials on other cases.
Lazar claimed in interviews earlier this month that he easily and repeatedly hacked into then Sec. of State Hillary Clinton’s personal email server in 2013. Some law enforcement sources, however, have subsequently told reporters that investigators found "no sign" that the notorious hacker breached Clinton's server.
Lazar is scheduled to appear in federal court in Alexandria, Va. Wednesday morning for a change of plea hearing, according to court records. A prosecution spokesman did not immediately respond to a message seeking confirmation that the guilty plea is part of a plea bargain with prosecutors. A defense attorney declined to comment. Such plea deals usually oblige a defendant to assist authorities in all ongoing investigations.
Lazar was indicted in 2014 on nine felony charges stemming from his alleged hack into the emails of several prominent Americans, including former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a relative of former President George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush, and former Clinton adviser Sidney Blumenthal. A set of Blumenthal's emails were published online in 2013, disclosing a private email address Clinton used. She later changed the address.
Clinton's email arrangement is the subject of an ongoing FBI investigation, believed to be focused on how email messages deemed classified wound up on her server. Some reports have speculated that Lazar could demonstrate how vulnerable Clinton's unusual email set-up was to foreign hackers, but it's unclear how significant that fact would be to a decision about whether to seek criminal charges against Clinton or others involved in creating or using the unofficial email system.