Guccifer, Who Revealed George W. Bush’s Secret Life as a Painter, Pleads Guilty to Hacking

He could go to prison for seven years.

WASHINGTON - JANUARY 15: (AFP OUT) U.S. President George W. Bush helps paint a mural along side City Year volunteer Morgan Lacey, as part of a community service activity at Cardozo High School January 15, 2007 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images)
US President George W. Bush stands beside First Lady Laura Bush during the unveiling of their National Portrait Gallery portraits at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, on December 19, 2008. Bush's painting is by Robert Anderson, with the First Lady's by Aleksander Titovets. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

US President George W. Bush stands beside First Lady Laura Bush during the unveiling of their National Portrait Gallery portraits at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, on December 19, 2008. Bush’s painting is by Robert Anderson, with the First Lady’s by Aleksander Titovets. Courtesy of SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images.

The Romanian hacker Marcel Lehel Lazar, aka Guccifer, pleaded guilty Wednesday to hacking the email and social media accounts of the Bush family, along with other Americans, AP reports. It was Guccifer’s hacking skills that uncovered the fact that former President George W. Bush had taken up painting in his retirement.

Lazar, 44, entered his plea in Virginia court. He had been charged with identity theft and unauthorized access to protected computers. He faces between two and seven years in prison when sentenced in September, according to the AP.

Lazar also hacked about a hundred others, prosecutor Ryan Dickey told the court on Wednesday. While they were identified only by number in court, AP points out that former Secretary of State Colin Powell was also hacked, resulting in Facebook posts under his name, reading “You will burn in hell, Bush!” and “Kill the Illuminati!”

WASHINGTON - JANUARY 15: (AFP OUT) U.S. President George W. Bush helps paint a mural along side City Year volunteer Morgan Lacey, as part of a community service activity at Cardozo High School January 15, 2007 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images)

George W. Bush helps paint a mural along side City Year volunteer Morgan Lacey, as part of a community service activity at Cardozo High School January 15, 2007 in Washington, DC. Courtesy of Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images.

Bush’s paintings went on view in Dallas in 2014, at his presidential library.

While it might be easy to snicker, Art in America’s Cathy Lebowitz wrote at the time, “These could be shown in a gallery and taken seriously in a number of contexts,” citing stylistic comparisons like Sylvia Sleigh and Lois Dodd. She continued, “What is so striking is that they are not particularly illustrational but have an abstract sense of space and form that reminds me of Fairfield Porter and his milieu.”

New York magazine critic Jerry Saltz went so far as to say, “OMG! Pigs fly. I like something about George W. Bush. A lot.”

As for Lazar, he may be able to serve some time in Romania, as part of his plea bargain.


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