Marcel Lehel Lazar, the 44-year-old Romanian hacker who claimed that he easily breached Hillary Clinton’s personal email server is finalizing a plea deal with the FBI and U.S. attorney.
Fox News reported that Lazar, also known as “Guccifer,” first gave indications he wanted to cooperate with the U.S. government in mid-April, during an interview with Fox News. Lazar, in a subsequent discussion, said he was working on a plea deal – he then suspended media contact earlier this month.
On Monday, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia confirmed that a change of plea hearing is now scheduled for Lazar on Wednesday morning. He originally had pleaded not guilty to the nine-count indictment when he was extradited to the U.S.
He is now expected to plead guilty to some charges.
It is not publicly known whether the deal being worked out has a provision for cooperating with federal authorities – and whether that has anything to do with the investigation into Clinton’s exclusive use of a private email server for government business while secretary of state.
But an intelligence source familiar with the FBI probe said if Guccifer pleads guilty to compromising Clinton aide Sidney Blumenthal’s AOL account – which is one of the nine charges – it will show that Clinton’s use of a personal server put sensitive information outside secure government channels and made it accessible to foreign hackers.
“[Clinton’s] gross negligence allowed this material to get out to an adversary,” the source said. “Through her communications with Blumenthal, she contributed exposure and risk.”
Fox News was first to report about Lazar’s claims that he breached former secretary of state Clinton’s server. Lazar said he breached Blumenthal’s AOL account by correctly guessing his security questions, and then using it as a stepping stone to the Clinton server.
While his claims could not be independently verified and he offered no hard evidence, he made similar statements during another interview in Romania with NBC News which aired after Fox’s reporting. Further, it was through Lazar’s hack of Blumenthal’s account that Clinton’s personal account was first revealed.
Read the full story at Fox News.