Hacker Who Outed George W. Bush as a Painter Gets 4-Year Jail Sentence

Guccifier revealed the former president's artworks to the world.

Self-portrait painting by President George W. Bush. Photo by Grant Miller.
Self-portrait painting by President George W. Bush. Photo by Grant Miller.

Self-portrait painting by former president George W. Bush.
Photo by Grant Miller.

Guccifer, the hacker handle of the former cab driver who revealed to the world that George W. Bush was spending a good portion of his post-retirement time painting portraits of friends’ pets, fellow world leaders, and tame self-portraits of himself showering, has been sentenced to four years in jail by a Romanian court. Guccifer was arrested in January in Bucharest and could spend a total of seven years behind bars as he also carries a previous three-year suspended sentence, according to NBC News.

Guccifer, whose real name is Marcel Lazar Lehel, gained instant, widespread fame after breaking into the email accounts of US and European leaders. He gained access to some of their accounts by guessing the answers to security questions using publicly available facts and information. Guccifer also broke into a private Yahoo email account of Romania’s secret service chief George Maior, which his agency said had been used before for academic correspondence. No mention of the hacker’s activities in the United States was made in court, NBCNews notes.


Two of the George W. Bush self-portraits found by hacker Guccifier.
Photo: Via Gawker.

Besides revealing Bush’s affinity for painting and sparking a spirited debate about Bush’s choices of subject matter and technical skill level, Guccifer also leaked sensitive messages related to Colin Powell, Hillary Clinton, George Tenet, and others.

A show of Bush’s paintings, entitled “The Art of Leadership: A President’s Diplomacy”at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum closed last week after a well-attended eight-week run in Dallas.

Vanity Fair notes that Bush has said he hopes everyone understands he paints “in the spirit of friendship.” Said writer Kia Makarechi: “Maybe he’ll find it in his heart to forgive a man who stole images of paintings from his email, and perhaps he’ll be so kind as to paint a portrait of Guccifer while the hacker spends four years languishing in a prison cell.”

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