A rumor that emerged earlier this week in the right-wing political blogosphere claims that Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (FSV) has in its possession at least 20,000 emails obtained from the private unsecured email server that Hillary Clinton used for official communications during her tenure as the U.S. Secretary of State. The rumors also claim that Kremlin officials are debating whether to release the emails.
Although the rumor has been circulated widely in the right-wing blogosphere, and Fox News’ senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano referred to it during an interview on The Kelly File, a brief online investigation reveals that the claims originated from notorious online conspiracy theory sources.
EUT is a far right-wing website with Neo-Nazi links. The website is known to have originated several conspiracy theories and fake new reports in the past.
A copy of the report by EUT also appeared on the website What Does It Mean, another notorious online source of conspiracy theories and unsubstantiated reports.
And despite the doubtful sources of the report, there has been excited speculation among pundits in the right-wing blogosphere about how the revelation that Putin could release 20,000 emails obtained from Clinton’s server could end her presidential bid. Right-wing bloggers and pundits have also observed that the Kremlin being in possession of Clinton’s emails would mean that Russia could influence the outcome of 2016 general election.
On Monday, Judge Andrew Napolitano told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, during an appearance on The Kelly File, that, “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.”
According to the rumor currently circulating in the right wing blogosphere, Russian hackers stumbled on the emails while monitoring the activities of the Romanian hacker Marcel Lehel Lazar, alias Guccifer.
The Russians started watching Guccifer after a failed attempt to hack into the network of RT television.
Guccifer had learned about Clinton’s private e-mail server after he gained access to the email account of Clinton’s close confidante Sidney Blumenthal, according to the rumors.
The Romanian hacker — extradited recently to the U.S.– claimed that he accessed Clinton’s server on several occasions and found evidence that he was not the only one who had hacked the server.
“For me, it was easy… easy for me, for everybody,” Guccifer told Fox News.
Guccifer claimed he found evidence that up to 10 hackers from “other parts of the world” may have accessed Clinton’s private server.
Right-wing bloggers are speculating, based on Guccifer’s statements, that some of the other hackers that Guccifer detected might have been Russian hackers. They are also speculating that the other hackers might have included the Chinese.
Some analysts cite an October 2015 report by the Associated Press that Clinton’s email server may have been hacked by the Russians on five separate occasions.
According to the AP, investigators discovered among Clinton’s emails malicious software designed to transmit data from her server to three servers outside the country, one in Russia. But it was not clear whether Clinton actually clicked the emails and became victim of a phishing attempt.
Some bloggers speculated that the emails could contain incriminating information about how Clinton Foundation accepted donations from foreign governments as bribes, and other sensitive data that could lead to her arrest and criminal conviction if leaked.
The latest online rumor comes after media reports that the conservative Judicial Watch obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request new Clinton emails that reveal that after having problems with her secure phone line Clinton had directed her Chief of Staff, Cheryl Mills, to call her on her personal unsecured phone line.
Clinton reportedly wrote in a February 2009 email to Mills, “I give up. Call me on my home #.”
Analysts argued that although there is no evidence that the aide ever called to discuss sensitive issues, the email gives evidence of Clinton’s disregard for national security.
Clinton’s opponents argue that what is known already about her negligent handling of official information as Secretary of State is sufficient to disqualify her as president.
[Photo By Andrew Harnik/AP]