With so much tumult swirling about our nation’s capital, this startling case risks being overlooked.

But you can hardly overstate its gravity.

A former Democratic congressional and senatorial aide somehow gained access to secured computers last week inside a Capitol office and put the home addresses and phone numbers of Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham, Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee on the internet encyclopedia site Wikipedia.

Jackson Cosko, 27, who reportedly worked for Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee and Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer and Maggie Hassan, was arrested and charged with threats in interstate communication, publishing restricted personal information, witness tampering, identity theft, unauthorized access of a government computer, second-degree burglary and unlawful entry.

The attacks on the Republican senators were without question in retaliation for their full-throated support of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Even with their maximum 20-year price tag, the seriousness of the charges doesn’t properly convey the enormity of the offenses. Sitting U.S. senators sustained a cyber attack from within the Capitol, within their own colleagues’ offices – an assault intended to heap public scorn on duly elected officials and punish them for their political views.

If the Russians had done this to liberal senators, the media would be running hot with lights and sirens 24/7.

This is arguably much worse than that. An American who once was part and parcel of our legislative infrastructure thought it acceptable to sabotage our government to further his political ends.

What does that say about the culture of the far left, except that it will take a torch to the opposition if it doesn’t get its ends-justifies-the-means way? What does that say about the ethics of the early 21st century, when so much harm can be done using personal information with just a few mouse clicks and even fewer scruples?

What does it say about the possible impact of liberal leaders’ constant drumbeat of bellyache and grievance? Why should we be surprised when smug-certain fringe elements, with those drums of acrimony playing in their heads, feel emboldened to verbally assault their “enemies” in restaurants and single them out for ridicule by publishing their personal contact information to the world?

Among his other accusations, should the Capitol Hill “doxxer” not also be charged with inciting a mob? For that matter, shouldn’t his role models and instigators also be indicted? Can it truly be said that someone stoked to combustion has truly acted alone?

The spreading distemper on the left that has infected other public places has now reached the pinnacle of U.S. power – although it may have earlier broken out within our Department of Justice and FBI in feverish attempts to prevent, and later overturn, the 2016 election outcome.

Once the Capitol Hill police have made their arguments in this case, perhaps the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ought to be brought in.

We cannot allow this canine madness to take hold.

 

This editorial first appeared in The Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle.