WASHINGTON – The Secret Service said Friday that it is investigating the theft of numerous personal emails from members of the Bush family, after an apparent hacker leaked the emails and Bush family photos to the Smoking Gun news website.
The Smoking Gun’s report, posted late Thursday, included excerpts from emails in which the children of former President George Bush discussed his severe illness in December and made plans for a possible funeral. He has since recovered.
The site also posted paintings made by one of his sons, former President George W. Bush — including purported self-portraits of the 43rd president in the shower and the bath.
On Friday, these moments from a famously private family became worldwide gossip.
A Bush family representative confirmed the emails were stolen but said the family would make no formal statement beyond that.
Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said the investigation is being led by the agency’s criminal investigative division in Washington. Donovan said he could not release any details.
The Smoking Gun said the stolen emails it had reviewed were dated between 2009 and 2012. Six accounts appeared to have been compromised. Among those hacked were Dorothy Bush Koch, daughter of George Bush and sister of George W. Bush, as well as sportscaster Jim Nantz, a family friend.
The emails were obtained by a hacker called “Guccifer” and posted in an account “that appears to have been hacked for the purpose of hosting the material,” the Smoking Gun said. The site did not release the full cache of hacked emails or provide information about how it learned about them.