A former Democrat aide was sentenced Wednesday to four years in prison for “doxing” Republicans, hacking Senate computers and using espionage devices.
The assailant, Jackson Cosko, a former aide to Democrat Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Democratic California Sen. Barbara Boxer and Democratic New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan, published the private information of Republican senators, including their home addresses and cell phones numbers, and confiscated entire contents of Hassan’s computer system.
Intent on changing the outcome of a Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination proceeding, Cosko doxxed top Republicans in October 2018, publishing the home addresses and private phone numbers of GOP Sens. Orrin Hatch (UT), Lindsey Graham (SC), and Mike Lee (UT) and Senator Rand Paul (KY) Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) on Wikipedia.
Cosko, who calls himself a “Democratic Political Professional” with cybersecurity expertise, was arrested by Capitol Police the day after he doxxed senators to the Internet. At the time of his arrest, Cosko was working as an unpaid intern for Jackson Lee, who fired him soon after.
The day same day the 27-year old IT aide doxxed Republicans, a second Democratic aide who worked as Cosko’s accomplice was charged with computer fraud for tampering with evidence.
After he was fired from Hassan’s office in May 2018 for failing to follow office procedures, Cosko repeatedly burglarized the office without being detected, court records said, copying gigabytes-worth of data, including dozens of user names and passwords belonging to Senate employees and “contact information for numerous sitting U.S. senators.”
“In April, Cosko pleaded guilty to five felonies, admitting that after being fired last year from his work as a systems administrator on Hassan’s staff, he repeatedly used a colleague’s key to enter the office, install keylogging equipment that stole work and personal email passwords, and downloaded a massive trove of data from Senate systems,” reported Politico.
Cosko’s four-year sentence will set a precedent signaling politically driven criminal harassment will be punished severely, Judge Thomas F. Hogan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia warned.
“We have…a society that has become very vicious. It’s very concerning to the court and unfortunate that you played into that,” he said. “It was a rather vicious offense. You were upset politically, perhaps you thought in today’s world it’s okay to lash out because of that, but it’s not. There needs to be a deterrent,” he said. “You put those people in harm’s way in a polarized society. You can’t pass this off as a simple political extremity that it is okay to do.”
While Kavanaugh was confirmed a Supreme Court justice, Cosko will now be prohibited from even casting a ballot in a general election, Hogan noted.
“You’ve got to live with five felony convictions, you lose you right to vote,” he said.
Sen. Rand Paul. Paul, whose was attacked and severely injured by his neighbor last year, issued a statement after Cosko’s sentencing detailing how the doxing “caused distress to have his wife upset, when he’d already been attacked” physically in his neighborhood.
Despite the severity of the Democratic IT scandal, none of the major broadcast networks –ABC, CBS, and NBC — covered Cosko on their flagship morning and evening newscasts within the 24-hours since his sentencing, Newsbusters reports.
“Instead of reporting on Cosko’s sentencing, ABC and CBS both gawked at accused sexual harasser Roy Moore and his latest attempt to become an Alabama senator,” Newsbusters notes. “Both CBS and NBC reported on a study that suggested that smartphone use was causing young people to grow “horns” on the back of their heads.”
The media also ignored his October 2018 arrest by Capitol Police and his guilty plea in early April of this year, according to the media watchdog.