A former Democratic congressional staffer was sentenced Wednesday to four years in prison for posting the home addresses and phone numbers of five US senators online, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham and Rand Paul.
Jackson Cosko, 27, hacked into Senate computers and doxxed the lawmakers out of anger over their roles in US Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings, according to court documents.
The former systems administrator in New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan’s office admitted that after being fired in May 2018 he began to repeatedly sneak back in to steal information from Senate systems.
During these break-ins, Cosko copied dozens of gigabytes of data, including the contact info for many sitting senators, court documents show.
After growing angry over the GOP’s handling of the nomination process he posted the personal info of Graham (R-SC), Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and now-former Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch on Wikipedia. He then released the info about Kentucky Sens. McConnell and Paul.
“I take full and complete responsibility for my actions,” Cosko said before his sentencing. “I am embarrassed and ashamed for what I did.”
Cosko pleaded guilty to five felonies in April, including making public restricted personal information, computer fraud, witness tampering and obstruction of justice.
US District Court Judge Thomas Hogan said the sentence is intended to signal that politically driven criminal harassment will be punished severely.
“We have…a society that has become very vicious,” Hogan said. “It’s very concerning to the court and unfortunate that you played into that.”
The sentencing comes after a second ex-Hassan aide, Samantha Deforest Davis, was charged with helping Cosko.
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