Kirsters Baish’s Opinion| A former aide for Democratic New Hampshire Senator Maggie Hassan was reportedly “sentenced to four years in prison Wednesday for hacking Senate computers and releasing personal information online about five Republican senators out of anger spurred by their roles in the confirmation hearings for Justice Brett Kavanaugh,” according to Politico. The news outlet explained. “U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Hogan said the sentence for Jackson Cosko, 27, was needed to send a signal that criminal harassment driven by political motives would be punished severely in an era marked by extreme political polarization.”
“We have…a society that has become very vicious,” Hogan stated. “It’s very concerning to the court and unfortunate that you played into that.”
Cosko pleaded guilty in April to five felony counts. He admitted that after he was terminated from his role as a systems administrator last year from Hassan’s staff, he began to use a former colleagues key in order to get into the office.
He said that he installed “keylogging equipment that stole work and personal email passwords, and downloaded a massive trove of data from Senate systems. Cosko also acknowledged that after growing angry about the GOP’s handling of the Supreme Court nomination, he released home addresses and phone numbers of Sens. Lindsay Graham, Orrin Hatch, and Mike Lee on Wikipedia. After initial press coverage of that doxing, Cosko released information about Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Rand Paul,” Politico reports.
“It was a rather vicious offense,” Hogan stated. “That was totally unjustified….We need to send a message out there. We need to have some deterrent and community understanding.”
Not long before Cosko received his sentence, he apologized on the lectern.
“I take full and complete responsibility for my actions,” Cosko pleaded. “I am embarrassed and ashamed for what I did.”
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