Another ex-aide to Democratic Senator Maggie Hassan has been charged in federal court for computer fraud. More specifically, for helping another Democrat staffer leak personal info on GOP Senators during the Brett Kavanaugh smear job.
That staffer pleaded guilty and will be sentenced today – prosecutors are asking for 5 years.
Politico reported that a second former aide to Dem. Sen. Maggie Hassan was charged in federal court Wednesday with evidence of tampering and aiding and abetting computer fraud in connection with a scheme that led to personal information of several Republican senators being posted online during the confirmation fight over Justice Brett Kavanaugh last year.
Samantha Deforest Davis, who worked as a staff assistant for Hassan until December, is expected to plead guilty to the two misdemeanor charges, a person familiar with the case said.
The charges against her were formally filed few hours before another ex-Hassan aide, Jackson Cosko, was set to be sentenced on more serious felony charges, that he was previously pleading guilty to stemming from the same hacking and doxing scheme.
Prosecutors say that after Cosko — a computer specialist — was fired from Hassan’s office last year, he used Davis’s keys to repeatedly return to the office, copy dozens of gigabytes of sensitive data, and install sophisticated key-loggers that captured the work and personal computer passwords of Hassan staffers as they logged in to the computers.
Prosecutors are saying that Davis didn’t give Cosko permission to use her keys the first time he surreptitiously entered Hassan’s office, but Davis later agreed to loan Cosko her office key and agreed to “wipe down” computers in the office to erase traces of Cosko’s fingerprints. Davis and Cosko had a “close relationship” and she also borrowed money from him to pay her rent, as court papers say.
Cosko’s intent appears to have been to intimidate his former colleagues in Hassan’s office, including those responsible for him being fired, prosecutors contend. However, Cosko has admitted that in a rage last September over Republicans’ handling of the Kavnaugh nomination, he used the stolen data to publish the home addresses and telephone numbers of Senators Lindsey Graham, Orrin Hatch, and Mike Lee.
Following initial media coverage of the doxing of these Republican senators, Cosko also published the home addresses and telephone numbers of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Rand Paul.
Prosecutors have stated that Cosko also threatened to release health information on senators’ children and appeared to engage in an extortion effort by declaring in one post on Paul’s Wikipedia page: “Send us bitcoins.”
Prosecutors have asked U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Hogan to sentence Cosko to about five years in prison. No arraignment has been set yet for Davis.