Jackson Cosko (R) with accomplice Samantha Deforest Davis (L)
Ex-Democrat staffer Jackson Cosko was sentenced to prison on Wednesday in what federal prosecutors say is the largest data theft in Senate history.
In October 2018, during the senate hearings for Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Capitol Police arrested 27-year-old Jackson Cosko of DC for “allegedly posting private, identifying information (doxxing) about one or more United States Senators.”
Jackson Cosko also threatened to leak Republican Senators’ children’s health information if any witnesses dared go to the authorities about his criminal activities.
But he didn’t act alone — Cosko had an accomplice — 21-year-old Samantha Deforest Davis was charged Wednesday in federal court just hours after Jackson Cosko was set to be sentenced.
Samantha Deforest Davis is expected to plead guilty to two misdemeanor charges on Wednesday.
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.
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.
Prosecutors asked US District Court Judge Thomas Hogan to sentence Jackson Cosko to about five years in prison.
“The government believes that a significant sentence would help to make clear that difference of political opinion do not entitle people to engage in politically motivated, criminal attacks threatening elected officials with whom he disagrees, and would thereby encourage respect for the law, and deter future criminal conduct,” prosecutors wrote.
No arraignment has been set yet for Samantha Deforest Davis yet, reported Politico.