Arthur Jan Dam, Man With Connections To Former Rep. Katie Hill, Charged With Hacking Opponent
A man connected to former Rep. Katie Hill‘s (D-California) campaign was arrested by the FBI on Friday on charges of hacking one of Hill’s political opponents. At this time, Hill has not been linked to the hackings.
Arthur Jan Dam, whose wife worked for Hill’s campaign, was charged with creating a series of cyberattacks against an opponent’s website which took away necessary resources and funding from the other candidate.
The FBI did not name the alleged target of the cyberattacks, but former Democratic candidate Bryan Caforio has said he is the victim. Caforio lost to Hill during the primary by a narrow margin of about 1,500 votes, after which she easily defeated Republican incumbent Steve Knight.
Caforio’s website crashed for the first time on April 20, 2018, and then again on April 21, April 28 and May 29, according to the criminal complaint. The April 28 hack occurred the day of an important debate and the May 29 hack was days before the June 5 primary.
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“Justifiably, there’s been a lot of anger at the Trump administration for what people see as his unwillingness to stand up to Russian interference in the election, and I think today’s revelation is a reminder that there are bad actors on every side, there are people who are interested in putting their personal gain above everyone else,” Caforio told Politico. “I hope we find out the full extent of who was involved and who knew about it.”
Hill, who has since resigned from Congress amid a House Ethics Committee investigation into an alleged relationship with a subordinate staffer, said she was unaware of the hackings. Prosecutors said they have not found evidence connecting Hill or her staffer to the attacks.
“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 said in a statement. “The integrity of our elections is vital to our democratic process. Out of respect for the rule of law and the defendant’s presumption of innocence, I will wait for the legal process to conclude before commenting further.”
Hill’s resignation has created a tumultuous race for the vacant swing seat, with contenders including Knight, the former incumbent, and former Trump aide George Papadopoulos who served time for lying to federal investigators, Navy veteran Mike Garcia and Lancaster City Councilmember Angela Underwood Jacobs. State Assemblywoman Christy Smith is also running with Hill’s endorsement.
The special election to fill Hill’s seat will take place on March 3, the same day as California’s Democratic primary.
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