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Marcel Lazar Who Exposed Hillary Clinton’s Email Server Expected to Plead Guilty | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Marcel Lazar Lehel, 40, is escorted by masked policemen in Bucharest, after being arrested in Arad, 550 km west of Bucharest in this Jan 22, 2014 file picture. PHOTO: REUTERS

Marcel Lazar is a Romanian computer hacker who revealed the existence of a private email server used by Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state. On the ground of his statements to media in regard of hacking Clinton’s server, he was indicted on charges like wire fraud, unauthorized access of protected computer, aggravated identity theft, cyberstalking and obstruction of justice. Thus the latter is expected to plead guilty to hacking-related offenses, a U.S. law enforcement official said on Tuesday.

Lazar, who used the alias “Guccifer,” is listed to enter a guilty plea at a hearing early on Wednesday before Judge James Cacheris in U.S. District Court, Alexandria, Virginia, said the official.

However, Lazar’s plea would not confirm his claims in latest media interviews about hacking, for real, the email server Clinton installed at her home in Chappaqua, New York, according to the official and another person familiar with the Guccifer investigation, who asked not to be named ahead of the proceedings. Noting that Clinton used the email to handle official and personal message traffic when she was Secretary of State.

The two sources said the U.S. investigation of Lazar turned up no proof to back the hacker’s claims that he had broken into Clinton’s private server. Its contents and operations are the focus of an FBI investigation.

Lazar claimed that Clinton’s private server “was like an open orchid on the internet”, in a statement during an interview with NBC News before his extradition from Romania.

Clinton, law enforcement and national security officials have said there is no evidence that Guccifer or any other unauthorized or outside party breached Clinton’s private server. None of the State Department-related message traffic that moved through the private server when Clinton served as secretary of state was marked and treated as classified.

Nevertheless, among the targets of Guccifer’s hacking was an AOL email account used by Sidney Blumenthal, a former Clinton White House aide and unofficial adviser. Blumenthal’s lengthy memos to Clinton on foreign policy were sent to her private server. Guccifer’s publication of a set of these messages led to the exposure of Clinton’s unconventional email arrangement.

Reviews by government departments, including two spy agencies, found that dozens of messages that moved through Clinton’s private server contained classified information, including material the government later deemed top secret.

But officials also said none of the classified material in Clinton’s servers included whole documents copied word for word from secret government servers.