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Democratic staffer arrested for releasing GOP Senators’ personal information

Supreme Court of the United States Police at the US Supreme Court, Washington DC. (Elvert Barnes/Flickr)
October 04, 2018

Capitol Police have arrested a former Democrat staffer who is accused of doxing several Republican members of Congress.

Jackson Cosko, 27, was arrested at his home on Wednesday and charged with “making public restricted personal information, witness tampering, threats in interstate communication, unauthorized access of a government computer, identity theft, second-degree burglary and unlawful entry,” according to a Fox News report.

Cosko is believed to be behind the release of personal contact information for several Republican Congressmen during last week’s hearings over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

The home addresses of Sens. Lindsey Graham, Mike Lee, and Orrin Hatch were posted to their respective Wikipedia profiles last week. Phone numbers were also posted, but were found to be inaccurate, as one number belonged to a Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League advocacy group.

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The published information was picked up by a Twitter bot designed to identify Wikipedia edits from users with IP addresses linked to Congress. The bot was able to determine that the edits came from a computer located in the House of Representatives.

Sen. Graham appeared on “Fox & Friends” last week where he said numerous people showed up at his home after his address was published.  “I got a new number and a bunch of people beating on my door last night,” Graham said, as reported by The Daily Caller.

Cosko has a history of working with top Democrats. He recently interned with Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, and previously worked for Sens. Maggie Hassan, Barbara Boxer, and Dianne Feinstein.

A representative with Jackson Lee’s office told Fox News that Cosko was now terminated, after having worked for the office for several months.  Glenn Rushing, Jackson Lee’s chief of staff, called the incident “unfortunate” and added that the office is “cooperating with law enforcement.”

Just a day before his arrest, Cosko was found operating a Capitol Hill office computer which was not affiliated with Jackson Lee. Authorities will search the computer, a well as others believed to be used by Cosko.

Authorities are also said to be investigating the possible doxing of two other senators. It’s not yet clear if Cosko was behind those efforts too.

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Cosko’s LinkedIn profile describes him as a “Democratic Political Professional & Cybersecurity Graduate Student.” His most recent employment entry is a systems administrator for senior Senate staff. The profile also lists him as a Master of Engineering student at George Washington University.