U.S. Capitol Police have arrested Jackson A. Cosko, a 27-year-old intern, for reportedly posting private information online.
The suspect had formerly been working as an intern in the office of Democratic Representative Sheila Jackson Lee where he had access to this private and sensitive information. Cosko allegedly found several Senator’s addresses, phone numbers and email addresses as part of his job duties, but the way he used this information is unsettling.
Last week, several Wikipedia pages for multiple senators were edited during the very controversial hearing for the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh. The Wikipedia pages of three GOP senators who support Kavanaugh were altered to show the individual’s private addresses, email addresses and phone numbers. Investigators looking into the situation quickly determined that an online bot had altered the Wikipedia pages. The bot, investigators learned, originated from a computer on Capitol Hill.
Republicans have been facing an extraordinary number of threats, death letters, unwanted phone calls and solicitations as a result of the current political turmoil. When the representative’s information became public, many were concerned that senators may be intimidated out of doing their jobs properly. Protesters have been repeatedly meeting Republican representatives while they are out eating, driving or even camping outside of their homes.
The unprecedented level of threats and protests against sitting representatives has only been made worse by the dissemination of this personal and private information. Jackson Cosko has been charged with the unauthorized access of a government computer, making public restricted personal information, second-degree burglary, threatening interstate communications, identity theft and unlawful entry.