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A former Democratic congressional staffer pleaded guilty Friday to federal charges related to his leaking personal information about Republican senators and threatening a witness who caught him in the act.
Jackson A. Cosko, 27, of D.C., copped to five offenses, including computer fraud, making public restricted personal information, witness tampering and obstruction of justice.
He faces nearly five years in prison when he is sentenced June 13.
Cosko admitted to “doxing,” the act of posting personal information about another individual online. He said the goal was to “threaten and intimidate” the senators and their families.
He posted the personal addresses and phone numbers of Sen. Mike Lee of Utah and four other Republicans who were key figures in the confirmation fight over Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh.
Prosecutors said Cosko posted the information on Wikipedia during and after the Sept. 27, 2019, hearing on sexual assault allegations against Justice Kavanaugh.
Cosko had been working for Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee, Texas Democrat, at the time of the incident. Prosecutors said he used his official login for at least one of the doxing incidents.
He has since been fired from Ms. Jackson Lee’s office.
Cosko was “caught in the act” of sneaking into the office of Sen. Maggie Hassan, New Hampshire Democrat, in October, according to court documents. He worked for Ms. Hassan in 2017 before being ousted in early 2018.
A Hassan staffer confronted Cosko and ordered him to leave. Cosko sent the staffer threatening emails within minutes of the dispute, warning he would release embarrassing information in retaliation, according to a police affidavit.
“If you tell anyone I will leak it all. Emails signal conversations gmails. Senators children’s health information and socials,” Cosko wrote, according to court records.
A search of Cosko’s home and storage unit turned up plans to target other lawmakers and a checklist for concealing evidence of his schemes, according to court documents.
The search also uncovered powders that tested positive for cocaine and methamphetamine.