Washington (CNN)The man suspected of “doxing” lawmakers during the Kavanaugh hearing last week had his first court appearance on Thursday and was ordered to remain in jail until his second hearing next week.
Jackson Cosko, 27, was arrested Wednesday by US Capitol Police, accused of publishing five US senators’ private identifying information online, a practice known as doxing.
The incident took place last Thursday during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused him of sexual assault. RELATED: Capitol Police arrest man suspected of ‘doxing’ lawmakers during Kavanaugh testimony
According to a criminal complaint, Cosko published the home addresses, home phone numbers, personal cell phone numbers and other private information of the five senators on the internet, editing their Wikipedia pages to include the information. The lawmakers are not named in the complaint.
A Twitter bot that tweets out edits to Wikipedia pages allegedly made by devices with Capitol Hill internet connections, called @congressedits, picked up and tweeted out the lawmakers’ personal information when it was added to the Wikipedia pages. The account is currently suspended.Cosko worked for Sen. Maggie Hassan, a New Hampshire Democrat, from January 2017 until May 2018 as a legislative correspondent/systems administrator, according to Hassan spokesman Aaron Jacobs. “Senator Hassan strongly denounces the alleged actions,” Jacobs said.
According to the complaint, just before 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, Capitol Police received a call from the office of “Senator 7” after a staffer walked into the office and saw Cosko, who had been forced to resign months earlier. A spokesman for Hassan confirmed she is “Senator 7” in the complaint. Cosko was sitting at a desk, typing on a computer. When the individual confronted Cosko, he typed a few more keystrokes, grabbed something from the desk and left the office. The complaint says the witness received an email minutes later threatening to leak the senator’s information if the witness told anyone. Capitol Police reviewed surveillance footage that showed Cosko entering the Dirksen Senate office building around 10:10 p.m. with a backpack and leaving the building around 10:21 p.m.
Cosko has been charged with making restricted personal information public, making threats in interstate communications, unauthorized access of a government computer, identity theft and obstruction of justice/witness tampering, according to the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. He’s also facing charges of second-degree burglary and unlawful entry.
The House of Representatives Security Operations Center analyzed the IP address used to publish the senators’ information and determined Cosko was the person logged on at the time, according to the complaint. A news release from the US attorney for the District of Columbia says Cosko is a volunteer on the staff of a House member, but does not name the member.