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19 Dec, 2023 14:05

US senator reacts to sex-tape scandal

Capitol Police say they’re “looking into” the incident after a graphic video leaked online last week
US senator reacts to sex-tape scandal

US Senator Ben Cardin has said he is “angry” and “disappointed” after one of his staffers was reportedly dismissed for participating in the filming of a graphic sex tape inside a Senate hearing room last week.

Cardin, a Democrat from Maryland, confirmed to reporters on Monday that Capitol Police had launched an investigation after the Daily Caller published a partially censored video on Friday that appeared to show two men having sex in a Senate hearing room. Posts on social media later alleged that the man was a staffer in Cardin’s office.

“I was angry. I was disappointed. It’s a breach of trust,” Cardin said, adding that his office was “absolutely” cooperating with the Capitol Police investigation. “It’s a tragic situation, and it’s presented a lot of anger and frustration. I’m concerned about our staff and the way that they feel about this.”

Cardin continued: “Over the weekend when I learned about it, I made sure that the … appropriate steps were taken.” 

Soon after the video was leaked online after initially being posted to a private group for gay men working in politics, Cardin’s office released a statement saying: “Aiden Maese-Czeropski is no longer employed by the US Senate.”

Cardin, who is retiring after this term in May, refused to name the staffer under investigation by Capitol Police when pushed by reporters on Monday. He said the matter was a “personnel issue,” and that he had not spoken to the aide since the termination of his employment. Cardin also declined to answer a question about how an aide would have access to a Senate hearing room.

In a since-deleted statement posted to his LinkedIn account, Maese-Czeropski, 24, wrote that he had “been attacked for who I love to pursue a political agenda.” He added: “While some of my actions in the past have shown poor judgment, I love my job and would never disrespect my workplace.”

Maese-Czeropski had previously appeared in a 2020 presidential campaign video with Joe Biden. When contacted by the Daily Mail on Saturday, his mother Magdalena Rivera Maese said Maese-Czeropski was distraught by the scandal. “You don’t want to know how he’s doing,” she said.

The video was filmed in the Hart Senate Office Building room 216, US media reports say. The room has previously hosted high-profile government hearings, including the 9/11 Commission and Supreme Court confirmation sessions.

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