A former staffer for several Democratic members was arrested yesterday for releasing the private contact information of Republican senators online. His actions were meant to enable the harassment of conservatives at their homes, but in the wrong hands that info could have led to harmful (even deadly) ends.
27-year-old Jackson A. Cosko was arrested by the Capitol Police for posting addresses and private information of senators on Wikipedia.
Cosko has a history working on Capitol Hill including most recently for Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas and previously for Democratic Sens. Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire and California’s Barbara Boxer.
Cosko used his access to the private information of Republican Sens. Mike Lee of Utah, Orrin Hatch of Utah, and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina to alter their Wikipedia pages with their addresses, phone numbers, and email address.
Thankfully a bot which tracks edits to congressional pages caught his activity.
Cosko likely wanted the public to use this information to target these members during last week’s hearing when Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Ford testified about allegations. Contacting congressional offices is fine but home residences should be off limits. With this private information, Cosko could have enabled stalking and confrontations of these senators at their homes where both they and their children are exposed.
This is what happens when partisan politics drives individuals to suspend common decency and abuse their positions to undermine their opposition.
When congressional members like Maxine Waters and recently Senator Cory Booker incite liberals and Democrats to confront and harass Republicans and members of the Trump Administration, they give permission and cover to actions like this.
Everyone is bemoaning how divided the nation is, how politics have devolved to new lows, and how uncivil rhetoric and dangerous behavior has been ratcheted up. Members of Congress should be talking down their supporters and constituents from the precipice of stopping President Trump and conservatives ‘at any costs’ instead of riling them up.
Until they do, those working in government will continue their undercover operations to undermine the workings of this administration and enable those outside of government to push the boundaries of constitutional speech and assembly toward mob aggression and destruction.