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Private Investigator Admits To Stealing The President's Identity

AP / NBC

A private investigator from Louisiana pleaded guilty this week in a strange case of presidential identity theft.

According to a court document, Jordan Hamlett, a 32-year-old from Baton Rouge, tried to use President Trump's Social Security number and other personal details about the Commander in Chief to access his private financial information.

Hamlett and his defense attorney, seen leaving the courtroom.AP

Hamlett allegedly cooked up the scheme after the president refused to release his tax returns during the 2016 presidential campaign. While it's a tradition for presidential candidates to release their tax forms, there's no law requiring it.

Hamlett admits to using the president's Social Security number to apply for student aid last September. The investigator tried to use the username and password from his application to access Trump's tax returns to the IRS, but wasn't successful.

President Trump refused to release his tax returns during last year's campaign.WBUR

Prosecutors say that Hamlett tried six separate times to access the president's private information, but that he wasn't successful. They don't reveal how much of the president's information could be accessed this way.

While Hamlett has admitted to his crimes, his strange defense is raising a few eyebrows.

When FBI agents confronted Hamlett about his hacking attempts last year, they say he took credit for the "genius idea" right away.

Hamlett's lawyer insists he was testing the tax system "out of curiosity."AP

Hamlett's defense attorney, Michael Fiser, argues the investigator wasn't trying to deceive anyone, just testing the tax system "out of sheer curiosity." They also say Hamlett tried to notify the IRS about the security flaw on the same day he tried to access Trump's records.

Fiser argued that Hamlett just likes to test digital security systems in his spare time, and that he always warns officials about potential weaknesses. Court documents mention that a local sheriff's department thanked Hamlett for identifying a security flaw in their systems.

Hamlett pleaded guilty to misusing the president's personal information.AP

"We felt like, under the circumstances, it was time to accept full responsibility and move forward to get closure," Fiser said about Hamlett's guilty plea.

The defendant faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Hamlett was already arrested again this summer for allegedly violating the conditions of his pretrial release. Prosecutors say he hacked into e-mail and social media accounts at the request of a client while awaiting his trial.

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[H/T: Fox News]

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