Second Dem Staffer Charged For Helping Leaker During Kavanaugh Smear Job

A second ex-aide to Democratic Senator Maggie Hassan has been charged in federal court for computer fraud.

Specifically, for helping another Dem staffer leak personal information on GOP Senators during the Brett Kavanaugh smear job.

That staffer pleaded guilty and will be sentenced today – prosecutors are asking for 5 years. From Politico:

A second former aide to Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) 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 last December, is expected to plead guilty to the two misdemeanor charges, a person familiar with the case said.

The charges against Davis were formally filed just hours before another ex-Hassan aide, Jackson Cosko, was set to be sentenced on far more serious, felony charges he 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 keyloggers that captured the work and personal computer passwords of Hassan staffers as they logged in.

Prosecutors say 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 Cosko to pay her rent, court papers say.

Cosko’s initial intent appears to have been to harass and intimidate his former colleagues in Hassan’s office, including those responsible for his firing, prosecutors contend. However, Cosko has admitted that in a rage last September over Republicans’ handling of the Kavnaugh nomination, Cosko used the data he’d stolen 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 the three Republican senators, Cosko published the home addresses and telephone numbers of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Rand Paul.

Prosecutors say 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 nearly five years in prison.

No arraignment has been set yet for Davis.

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