It is suspected that Yevgeniy Nikulin is the Russian hacker who hacked Anthony Weiner’s computer via Formspring. Mr. Weiner was under investigation for sexting texts to a minor when somehow, some of the emails of the democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton were inadvertently found on the same laptop that Anthony Weiner and his estranged spouse had utilized and which was confiscated by NY FBI agents. Because these newly discovered emails were related to Mrs. Clinton’s former position as US secretary of state, the FBI Director James Comey wrote his infamous “October surprise” letter to congress that these emails would have to be reviewed, and this was done within 10 days of election day.
Based on recent research, we know that the FBI was granted a FISA warrant on 10/15/16, to investigate the connection between the (Trump Tower private) server and two banks, SVB Bank and Alfa Bank.
As per the 11/7/16 Heatstreet report by Louise Mensch, “However, it is thought in the intelligence community that the warrant covers any ‘US person’ connected to this investigation, and thus covers at least three men who have either formed part of his campaign or acted as his media surrogates. The warrant was sought, they say, because actionable intelligence on the matter provided by friendly foreign agencies could not properly be examined without a warrant by US intelligence as it involves ‘US Persons’ who come under the remit of the FBI and not the CIA.”
Because the FISA warrant was issued almost a couple weeks before the FBI Director Comey made public the October surprise letter regarding Mrs. Clinton’s emails, he may have been in an ethical bind. It is one thing to talk about a closed criminal investigation but it is another more serious matter to give any indication that there is an ongoing inquiry that involves US national security interests.
The arrest papers to have the FBI extradite a Russian hacker while he was in Prague, Bucharest was based on a federal grand jury indictment. Here is the link: Yevgeniy Nikulin Indicted for Hacking LinkedIn, Dropbox and …https://www.justice.gov/…Oct 21, 2016 –
Here is the rest of this saga…
On 1/27/17 Robert Tait and Julian Borger of The Guardian penned the following saga, “Alleged hacker held in Prague at center of ‘intense’ US-Russia tug of war.”
“An alleged computer hacker being held in the Czech Republic is at the center of an international legal tussle between the United States and Russia amid lingering disquiet over Moscow’salleged interference in the recent US presidential election.
Yevgeniy Nikulin, 29, faces extradition requests from both countries after being detained by Czech police on an Interpol arrest warrant issued by US authorities.
Nikulin, a Russian citizen, was arrested in a restaurant in Prague on October 5, 2016 shortly after arriving in the city during a holiday with his girlfriend.
“He faces a maximum 30 years in prison and up to $1m in fines if convicted on charges including computer intrusion, aggravated identity theft, conspiracy, damaging computers and trafficking in illegal access devices.”
“There is no acknowledged link between Nikulin’s alleged offences and the hacking of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, but his arrest came just three days before the Obama administration formally accused Russia of stealing emails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and disclosing them through WikiLeaks.”
“Formspring, one of the sites he allegedly hacked, was the platformused for sexting by Anthony Weiner, the former New York mayoral candidate and husband of Huma Abedin, Clinton’s closest aide. The discovery of emails linked to Clinton on Weiner’s laptop damaged her campaign in its final two weeks after the FBI director, James Comey, revealed their existence.”
“Meanwhile, Russia has responded to the American extradition request against Nikulin by tabling one of its own, demanding that he be returned to face allegations dating back to 2009 that he hacked another person’s bank account and stole 111,000 roubles (£1,465).”
“He was never formally accused at that time. I think the reason is that he was recruited (by the Russian security services),” said Ondrej Kundra, political editor with the Czech weekly magazine Respekt, which has reported that the Russian services offer alleged offenders immunity from prosecution in exchange for collaboration.
“There’s intense lobbying in this case. People from the US and Russian side are talking to the Czech authorities because both really want Nikulin in their countries.”
“One theory is Nikulin – even if not personally involved in the election hacking – may know other hackers who were.”
“Fueling speculation is the existence of sealed US court documents, tabled six days after the original indictment against Nikulin on October 20, 2016 but whose contents have not been revealed.”
“A number of documents were filed under seal, which means you cannot talk about them,” a US justice department spokesman told the Guardian.”
“Adam Kopecky, Nikulin’s Czech lawyer, said his client denied both the US and Russian charges and suggested he had become a political pawn. “My client and myself think it’s a political affair,” Kopecky said.”
“Given the international situation, when one superpower accuses a citizen of the other of hacking their computers and then the other superpower accuses the same citizen of another crime, it’s kind of strange.”
“Kopecky lodged an official complaint after prison authorities put his client under high-level supervision that included monitoring his communications with the lawyer.”
“He is unhappy about being detained for a long time in a foreign country and about the accusations against him. He wants to return to Russia – but as a free man,” Kopecky said.
“The case is currently in the hands of Prague’s chief prosecutor, who is expected to issue a decision on the twin extradition requests at the end of this month or early in February, a spokeswoman for the city’s municipal court said.”
“Russia’s embassy in Prague declined to comment but cited a previous foreign ministry statement in which a spokeswoman compared the affair to other incidents and called it “another proof that the US law enforcement agencies are hunting for Russian citizens across the world”.