The Kremlin is considering whether or not to release some 20,000 hacked Clinton emails reportedly in its possession.
Russian security services apparently obtained the emails as part of their investigation into the Romanian hacker Marcel Lehel Lazar, known as “Guccifer” — now in U.S. custody in relation to the Clinton email scandal.
“Guccifer” hacked into the former secretary of state’s email. “For me, it was easy.”
“There’s a debate going on in the Kremlin between the Foreign Ministry and the Intelligence Services about whether they should release the 20,000 of Mrs. Clinton’s emails that they have hacked into,” Judge Andrew Napolitano told Megyn Kelly on Monday.
The Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) began monitoring Lazar after a failed attempt in 2011 to hack into RT, a news service funded by the Russian government. While it hasn’t been confirmed publicly by its government that Russia is in possession of the emails, there is ample evidence which suggests the Russians do indeed have Clinton’s emails.
Lazar has stated publicly that he knows he is not the only hacker who was able to — and did — gain access to Clinton’s private server. “For me, it was easy … easy for me, for everybody,” he said in an interview with Fox News. Everybody included “up to 10, like, IPs from other parts of the world,” that were active on the server while Lazar had access.
Furthermore, RT published portions of Clinton’s emails on its website in March 2013, claiming they were supplied by “Guccifer” himself. But given the existence of websites like Wikileaks, it’s difficult to imagine a hacker like Lazar personally giving such sensitive information to a news agency that is a de facto branch of the Russian government.
Indeed, RT’s proximity to the Russian government suggests it’s more likely the agency received the emails, not from Lazar himself, but from Russian authorities monitoring Lazar or Russian hackers themselves. In October 2015, The Associated Press reported that Russian authorities may have hacked Clinton’s server on at least five separate occasions.
The existence of these emails is a significant problem for Clinton. Despite the ongoing FBI investigation growing larger and more serious by the day — it was revealed last week that her closest aides from the State Department had all been interviewed, some more than once — Clinton seems no closer to being indicted.
Indeed, the FBI’s investigation has at times seemed almost farcical. On Monday, the State Department said it had apparently lost four years’ worth of emails from Brian Pagliano, Clinton’s IT head who set up the private server.
“Such records might shed light on his role in setting up Clinton’s server, and why he was granted immunity by the FBI,” said Republican National Committee Deputy Communications Director Raj Shah. “But it seems that his emails were either destroyed or never turned over, adding yet another layer to the secrecy surrounding his role.”
But if the State Department is unable (or unwilling) to provide materials to the FBI pertinent to its investigation, then perhaps the Russian government will oblige.