Government employees who might be tempted to use their positions to target political opponents have been given a harsh warning from a federal judge. An individual who thought it wise to publicly release the personal information of several Republican lawmakers has been given a stiff sentence for his crimes, which Prosecutor Demian Ahn termed “the largest data breach in Senate history.”
The corporate media does not seem interested in pushing this story, but the fact remains that certain people in our government have no issue taking extreme action against politicians with whom they disagree. In this case, the perpetrator will receive his comeuppance.
Judge Sentences Doxxer
District Court Judge Thomas Hogan handed down a four-year sentence to the former Democratic aide who doxxed Republican lawmakers amid the contentious Kavanaugh hearings. In October 2018, Jackson Cosko published the private contact details of Senators Mike Lee (R-AZ), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Rand Paul (R-KY) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), including cell phone numbers and home addresses. It is believed the former aide was attacking the Republicans for their efforts to get Justice Brett Kavanaugh confirmed on the Supreme Court, despite controversy related to sexual abuse allegations him.
Cosko, who worked under Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), pleaded guilty to five felonies which involved hacking Senate computers, and using spy devices to obtain and release officials’ personal contact details. Judge Hogan rebuked Cosko for his weaponization of government resources against political adversaries:
“It was a rather vicious offense. You were upset politically, perhaps you thought in today’s world it’s OK to lash out because of that, but it’s not. There needs to be a deterrent. You put those people in harm’s way in a polarized society. You can’t pass this off as simple political extremity that is okay to do.”
The judge also pointed out that Cosko’s actions were particularly egregious in light of the recent incidents of politically-motivated violence against elected officials. “In today’s political world, Republicans at the baseball game in Virginia were shot at,” he said. “It hurts the respect for the law when people do things like this.”
An Effective Deterrent?
Cosko is not the first leftist to use government resources against individuals with differing political beliefs. Last year, undercover investigative group Project Veritas exposed members of the Democratic Socialists of America who have engaged in similar activities while working for the federal government. In one case, the activists tracked down the personal address of a lobbyist in order to harass him at his home.
Doxxing has become a particularly devious political tactic in recent years, with hard-left radicals endangering conservatives’ safety by distributing personal information online. Even the left-leaning press has used this strategy against those who speak out against progressives. In 2017, CNN threatened to publish the identity of a person who had anonymously posted a video online humorously depicting the network losing a wrestling bout with President Trump. The person pledged to refrain from posting further content unfavorable to CNN, and in exchange, his identity was kept private – though the network reserved “the right to publish his identity should any of that change.” Recently, The Daily Beast exposed the identity of an individual alleged to have circulated a video mocking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, leading the man – who denies creating or posting the material – to question is future safety, and position in his local community.
Up until now, doxxers were able to attack individuals largely without fear of repercussions. But with this ruling, perhaps Judge Hogan is sending a message to those who would illegally use government resources to harm those with dissenting opinions. If would-be doxxers consider targeting their fellow Americans in this way, the potential consequences may compel them to think again.
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