Law & the Courts

The Corner

BREAKING: Romanian Hacker Claims He Got Inside Hillary Clinton’s Private Server

NBC reports:

The Romanian hacker who first exposed Hillary Clinton’s private email address is making a bombshell new claim — that he also gained access to the former Secretary of State’s “completely unsecured” server. 

“It was like an open orchid on the Internet,” Marcel Lehel Lazar, who uses the devilish handle Guccifer, told NBC News in an exclusive interview from a prison in Bucharest. “There were hundreds of folders.”

“Guccifer” hasn’t provided any hard evidence yet. But he’ll be questioned soon by the FBI. 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. There’s no doubt whatsoever that Clinton was “entrusted with . . . 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.” And, if she let Guccifer gain access to them, then she clearly, ”through gross negligence,” permitted “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.” In other words, if Guccifer is telling the truth, then Clinton wouldn’t actually have had to send, forward, or destroy any classified e-mails that “related to the national defense,” she’d merely have had to leave the server vulnerable — so that it was like, say, an “open orchid on the Internet.”

Clinton had better hope he’s bluffing.

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