Of all the players in Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, the only one behind bars is the man who first revealed to the world in 2013 that former secretary of state and potential future president used the private email address email@example.com to send and receive classified materials.
In new booking photos first obtained by Fox News, Marcel Lehel Lazar, the Romanian hacker more widely known as “Guccifer,” appears healthy during his near six-month stay at the William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center in Alexandria, Va., at one time sporting a full beard.
This week, in the midst of the avalanche of revelations in thousands of Clinton emails released by WikiLeaks and the release of Hillary Clinton’s written and sworn statements in the ongoing Judicial Watch litigation over her homebrew server and private email for government business, the 44-year-old Romanian hacker was suddenly whisked away from his cell and flown back to Bucharest.
Fox News was told Friday by a source close to Lazar’s family that a “21-day processing is normal” and then they expect Lazar to be returned to a prison near his family in Arad to finish his sentence for hacking crimes committed in his native country.
After an expensive and extensive investigation, which included his extradition from Romania, Lazar was flown to the U.S. in March to face federal charges in the U.S. related to hacking 100 Americans, which included close Clinton advisor Sidney Blumenthal.
Fox News attended Guccifer’s sentencing, where, in a move that seemed to surprise the court, it was stated that Romania wanted Lazar returned “right away.” In a neatly written letter dated Sept. 15 and sent from his jail cell, Lazar wrote to Fox News senior executive producer Pamela Browne, calling Romania’s request for his return a “silly, hasty move.”
Further revelations and details are still emerging on how Clinton sent and received classified emails by deliberately choosing to use a non-secure, private server linked to her non-secure devices with a private email address for all her official U.S. business as secretary of state.
It was back in early July when FBI Director James Comey chose to announce during his now controversial press conference that the bureau was “unanimous” in its conclusion that Clinton was only “extremely careless” and not criminal in her handling of classified information as secretary of state.
In weeks following the controversial decision, the FBI began releasing highly redacted witness interviews forms known as 302s which included one with Guccifer, aka Marcel Lazar.
In great detail, Lazar who cooperated with U.S. authorities, told the FBI that it only took him 20 minutes to get inside Blumenthal’s AOL account. Once inside, according to his 302, which was reviewed by Fox News, “Lazar recalled that Blumenthal’s account contained approximately 30,000 emails, which took him approximately six to seven hours to sort and review. Lazar downloaded approximately 25 attachments that were contained in the emails, including memorandums and briefing documents. He recalled that some of those attachments were official memos between Blumenthal and Clinton.
Additionally, Lazar took screenshots of other items in the account that he deemed to be of interest. Lazar recalled taking a screenshot of an email that contained information related to the Benghazi incident.”
With Lazar back in Romania, Comey’s decision is coming under further scrutiny with thousands of new Clinton staffer emails released by WikiLeaks.
Further, Hillary Clinton’s sworn written statements ordered by U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan in the Judicial Watch litigation revealed that she stated “I don’t recall” 20 times to the 25 questions. One of the more glaring comments was Clinton’s answer to a question about a Nov. 13, 2010 email exchange with chief aide Huma Abedin that cited problems with the clintonemail.com email account. In it, Clinton wrote to Abedin “Let’s get a separate address or device.”
However, in her written and sworn statement Clinton stated that, “(Secretary Clinton) does not recall what precisely she meant by the words “address” or “device.”
For the convicted hacker Guccifer who is now behind bars 6,000 miles away in Romania, the revelations of that statement by Clinton seemed to be foreshadow his sense of own sense of futility in the letter he wrote to Fox News on Sept. 15.
“So, I apologize in front of the unknown soldiers who struggle to take this fight against these monsters to a glorious end,” he wrote. “Many of them are risking their lives, while doing this behind the computer screens, from inside and outside the system.”
Guccifer told Fox and NBC News that he breached Clinton’s server, but in his May 2016 interview, when pressed by the FBI, Guccifer said the claims were not true.
Pamela K. Browne is Senior Executive Producer at the FOX News Channel (FNC) and is Director of Long-Form Series and Specials. Her journalism has been recognized with several awards. Browne first joined FOX in 1997 to launch the news magazine “Fox Files” and later, “War Stories.”
Catherine Herridge is an award-winning Chief Intelligence correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC) based in Washington, D.C. She covers intelligence, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Herridge joined FNC in 1996 as a London-based correspondent.