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20 Dec, 2019 22:54

Ex-FBI employee gets 7 DAYS in jail for hacking emails of right-wing activist 'to protect Mueller'

Ex-FBI employee gets 7 DAYS in jail for hacking emails of right-wing activist 'to protect Mueller'

The DC Swamp is so small that people on both sides of the aisle are bound to rub elbows, such as the ex-FBI official who tried stopping his neighbor from harming special counsel Robert Mueller’s reputation by hacking his email.

Mark Tolson, 60, was sentenced to seven days in jail and 50 hours of community service on Friday, even though the judge called his crime 'very serious.' The former FBI analyst hacked into the email account of his neighbor, right-wing activist Jack Burkman, and tried to publish that information in the media.

Tolson pleaded guilty in September to illegally hacking Burkman’s email account. At the time, Burkman was reportedly trying to dig up 'dirt' on Mueller, who was conducting an investigation at the time into President Donald Trump over claims he 'colluded' with Russia in the 2016 presidential election. 

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Tolson’s wife, Sarah Gilbert Fox, provided the email password to her husband, which she obtained when she had done some work for Burkman. US District Court Judge Leonie Brinkema told Tolson at his sentencing in Alexandria, Virginia, that he was ‘lucky’ his wife hadn’t been charged with any crime.

Prosecutors were asking for a short prison term, but Tolson’s attorney argued that losing his position with the FBI was punishment enough.

“There was no other motivation here other than to protect Mueller,” Tolson’s attorney argued.

Brinkema said Tolson “had to have known” that what he was doing was wrong, but ultimately sentenced Tolson to only seven days behind bars, to be served after the holidays.

With the Democrats insisting on impeaching Trump because 'no one is above the law,' Tolson’s lenient sentence has certainly raised eyebrows. 

'What a disgrace our judicial system is,' tweeted Burkman. 'Can you imagine the jail time he would have gotten if I were a liberal?'

Other reactions wondered what sentence would a non-government employee get, and what sort of message that was sending to others.

Sentences for computer crimes can vary, but even a misdemeanor charge for any sort of hacking-related crimes can carry a punishment of up to six months in prison.

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