You might want to take this one with a large grain of salt, but the hacker who allegedly wants $500,000 for Hillary Clinton’s entire email archive has apparently experienced a change of heart.
The hacker has decided to give the 32,000-plus message collection that he supposedly accessed from the former Secretary of State’s private email server to the FBI for free.
In the initial report by Radar Online, the hacker planned to sell the digital data to the highest bidder.
The FBI has launched an investigation into the possible mishandling of classified information on Hillary Clinton’s personal email server which she used to conduct federal government business while in office. That a law enforcement probe has commenced in no way means that the Obama Justice Department will actually bring or has grounds to bring criminal charges against any ex-Obama administration official, however, that may have played a role in this controversy.
Clinton foes have also alleged that the Clinton Foundation provided a money laundering vehicle for cash from multinational corporations and foreign governments to the former first family, and emails may or may not exist that substantiate that claim.
The frontrunner for the 2016 Democrat presidential nomination never had a government email address during her tenure as America’s top diplomat, a practice which may have violated federal record-keeping laws that requires archiving of all such communications.
The hacker gained possession of the emails because not everything on the unsecured server was allegedly wiped clean or deleted. “Hillary or someone from her camp erased the outbox containing her emails, but forgot to erase the emails that were in her sent box…If these emails get out to the public domain, not only is Hillary finished as a potential Presidential nominee, she could put our country’s national security at risk,” an unnamed insider told Radar Online.
In a follow-up story, the hacker told the same news outlet that “After speaking with my lawyers, I was advised I could not legally sell these, and to get rid of them and turn in everything I had to FBI.”
Reacting to the initial email-stash-for-cash story, the Canadian Free Press noted that Radar Online is primarily a celebrity-driven website and that “They have a solid track record when it comes to being right about the things they publish, but political reporting about presidential candidates is not their forte.”
“We’re supposed to believe that Hillary maintained a secret email account, deleted everything from it, had the servers wiped, but didn’t remember to clear her ‘sent’ messages? That is, to say the least, tough to swallow,” the Canadian Free Press added.
Separately, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, still living in exile in Russia, called the whole idea of using an unsecured server for sensitive government information completely ridiculous, according to the Guardian.
“If an ordinary worker at the State Department or the CIA … were sending details about the security of embassies, which is alleged to be in her email, meetings with private government officials, foreign government officials and the statements that were made to them in confidence over unclassified email systems, they would not only lose their jobs and lose their clearance, they would very likely face prosecution for it…When the unclassified systems of the United States government, which has a full-time information security staff, regularly gets hacked, the idea that someone keeping a private server in the renovated bathroom of a server farm in Colorado is more secure is completely ridiculous.”
In a related deveopment, a Hillary Clinton IT staffer who set up the server in question has notified Congress that he will invoke the 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and decline to testify on Capitol Hill in connection with an ongoing investigation into the Benghazi, Libya, terrorist attack in which four Americans were murdered, the New York Times reported. “Thousands of e-mails that have been released by the State Department as part of a public records lawsuit show Clinton herself writing at least six e-mails containing information that has since been deemed classified. Large portions of those e-mails were redacted before their release, on the argument that their publication could harm national security.”
Do you think it’s plausible that a hacker has actually gained access to Hillary Clinton’s entire email archive, including unreleased and/or deleted messages?
[Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images News]