Dem Arrested

PUBLISHED: 7:52 PM 22 Feb 2020

FBI Arrests Hill Campaign Associate For Hacking Primary Opponents

Hill is the Democratic Rep. who was forced to resign after her “trouple” scandal a few months ago.

Hill was forced to resign after a "trouple" scandal. (CBS This Morning YouTube Screenshot)

In a move that does not surprise may people, another democrat ‘associate’ has been busted cheating. The FBI arrested a California man linked to the 2018 campaign of former Rep. Katie Hill, who recently resigned amid a “trouple” scandal.

Arthur Jan Dam was charged with hacking Hill’s primary rivals and “intentionally damaging and attempting to damage a protected computer.” FBI Special Agent Elliot Weideman, in the criminal complaint also alleged Dam was involved in four cyberattacks that disrupted the website of one of Hill’s primary opponents.

Fox News reported:

The complaint did not name the candidate whose website was targeted by the attacks in the spring of 2018. However, identifying information in the document indicates the victim was Bryan Caforio, who lost to Hill by fewer than 3,000 votes in the so-called “jungle primary” in California’s 25th District.

“I’m absolutely shocked and saddened to learn today that Katie Hill’s campaign associates hacked my campaign in order to help her advance through the primary,” Caforio told The Intercept.

“This should serve as a reminder that Russia is not the only threat to our democracy. There are bad actors on all sides who will do anything for their own personal gain, and we need to come together as Americans to defend our country and hold everyone responsible accountable.”

[Bad actors generally tend to the side of the left though, many experts recognize.]

The website reported that Hill’s Federal Election Commission records include a $500 in-kind donation from Dam for “graphic design and website security consultation.”

The complaint also found Dam to “be connected to the cyber-attacks through subscriber information, IP addresses, geolocation history, and open sources, including through his employer and his wife, K.O., who worked for one of the Victim’s opponents.” Dam’s wife, Kelsey O’Hara, was Hill’s fundraiser during the campaign and later served as her district director after she won the seat.

“The Victim reported suffering losses, including website downtime, a reduction in campaign donations, and time spent by campaign staff and others conducting critical incident response,” the complaint said.

The complaint stated that the four Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, one of which occurred just before a debate involving Hill, Caforio and fellow Democrat Jess Phoenix, knocked the rival candidate’s website offline for a total of 21 hours. It does not say whether Hill or O’Hara had any knowledge of the attacks.

“I have no information or knowledge about any of the conduct alleged,” Hill said in a statement to USA Today. “These charges do not reflect in any way on the thousands of honest, hard-working staff, volunteers and supporters who worked on my campaign, to whom I owe so much.

Hill resigned from office in October amid a House Ethics Committee investigation following allegations of an affair between her and her legislative director, as well as reports that she was in a so-called “throuple” relationship with husband Kenny Heslep and a campaign staffer.

A special election for the 25th congressional district is set for March 3.

The Washington Free Beacon added:

According to the complaint, Caforio’s website went down for a combined 21 hours during the 2018 campaign due to distributed denial of service attacks, a cyber attack that effectively shuts down a website from being used by interfering with its host or provider. Two of the hacks happened directly before a primary debate and a week before the primary election.

The FBI connected Dam to the attack through “subscriber information, IP addresses, geolocation history, and open sources,” as well as through his wife.

Bottom of Form

…The FBI traced the hacking to an anonymous Amazon Web Services account that was paid for by Dam’s credit card. Hill’s Federal Election Commission records list a $500 in-kind contribution from Dam on March 25, 2018, for “graphic design and website security consultation,” the Intercept reported.

The complaint stated the attacks cost Caforio upwards of $30,000 in expenditures and lost time to investigate and mitigate them. The hacks occurring at high-buzz times in the campaign exacerbated their harm.

Hill finished less than 2,700 votes ahead of Caforio in the jungle primary, allowing her to advance to the general election against Republican Steve Knight. Hill went on to defeat him in November.

Hill resigned last year after admitting to having a sexual relationship with a female campaign staffer during her 2018 bid for Congress. Hill, who is bisexual, accused her estranged husband Kenny Heslep of leaking nude photos of her to media outlets. Heslep has denied this.

Hill was accused of having a sexual relationship with a different staff member while she was in Congress, which would have violated House rules. She has denied that accusation. In a series of interviews this week, Hill said she stepped down from her congressional seat so she wouldn’t be a headache for her colleagues.