A former Democratic Senate staffer admits trying to threaten and intimidate several Republican Senators and their families by posting their home addresses and phone numbers online.
It’s a practice known as “doxing.”
Personal information belonging to Republicans Lindsey Graham, Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee was posted on Wikipedia and Twitter at the same time the three were taking part in a contentious hearing last September for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Two other GOP senators were targeted a few days later in the same way.
Jackson Cosko, 27, of D.C. pleaded guilty to five federal offenses: two counts of making public restricted personal information, one count of computer fraud, one count of witness tampering and one count of obstruction of justice.
According to LegiStorm, a website that tracks Capitol Hill staffers, Cosko worked for Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire until May of last year.
In a statement issued as part of his plea, Cosko admitted he was angry about losing his job in Hassan’s office where he had worked as a computer systems administrator.
He then decided to break into Hassan’s office at least four times to access Senate-owned computers and steal information.
On the night of Oct. 2, someone saw Cosko at a computer in Hassan’s office and confronted him. Cosko left and later sent an email to the witness that said “I own EVERYTHING” and threatening: “If you tell anyone I will leak it all.”
Cosko was arrested the next day.
The Dallas Morning News reports that Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee fired Cosko after he was charged in the doxing case. The paper says Cosko had worked in Jackson Lee’s office as an unpaid intern for about a month.
He could face a maximum of four years and nine months in prison at sentencing scheduled for June 13.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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