ET: WASHINGTON—Senate Sergeant-at-Arms officials conducted a “general housecleaning” that resulted in “massive personnel changes” in the upper chamber’s information technology and cybersecurity systems staff, The Epoch Times has learned.
“There’s been massive personnel changes over there,” said a knowledgeable Senate source who requested anonymity. “The new people are a lot more strict and putting on a lot more rules and restrictions. They have just been tightening down a lot since then.”
Among those who have left is John Clayton Porter. He was branch manager for information assurance—cybersecurity from March 2017 until earlier this month, according to LegiStorm. He was paid $88,628 annually at the time of his departure, according to Senate records.
The Sergeant-at-Arms (SAA) office declined to discuss Porter or personnel changes that have been implemented in his former office. A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also declined to comment.
The staff and rules changes come in the wake of a guilty plea entered in federal court April 5 by Jackson Cosko, a former information technology aide to Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) and Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Texas).
Mannal Haddad, press secretary for the House Administration Committee, which oversees the House computer networks, declined to comment when asked by The Epoch Times about Cosko and whether new cyber-security measures were implemented as a result of the case.
Cosko admitted guilt in the pleading to two counts of making public restricted private information in October 2018 about McConnell, and other senators, including Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).
Cosko also admitted guilt to one count each of computer fraud, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice. Prior to agreeing to the pleading, Cosko faced as many as 11 separate felony counts.
The case was heard in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and was first reported by The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Luke Rosiak.
Cosko’s offenses commenced after he was terminated from Hassan’s staff in May 2018 for reasons the New Hampshire senator has refused to make public. more