Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Law Professor: Dem Staffer Busted for Gay Sex in Senate Hearing Room Could Be in Legal Trouble

By Matt Vespa | Townhall.com

The worst is not over for Sen. Ben Cardin’s (D-MD) office, which was engulfed in a gay sex scandal involving one of his aides. The staffer filmed himself having sex in a Senate hearing room. It was posted on various gay sites, leading to its very public revelation last Friday. The aide, Aidan Maese-Czeropski, got fired by Cardin’s office hours after this video went viral. This story doesn’t end with this staffer’s termination. Now, there are legal ramifications that must be considered and law professor Jonathan Turley alluded that criminal charges could be warranted regarding this unauthorized tryst in Hart 216:

Staffers have access into such rooms, but the question is whether this unofficial use would constitute trespass. It also uses an official area for personal purposes, though it is not clear if there were any commercial benefits garnered from the video found on various sites. 

One obvious criminal provision under the D.C. code is Section 22-1312 for lewd, indecent, or obscene acts: 

“It is unlawful for a person, in public, to make an obscene or indecent exposure of his or her genitalia or anus, to engage in masturbation, or to engage in a sexual act as defined in § 22-3001(8). It is unlawful for a person to make an obscene or indecent sexual proposal to a minor. A person who violates any provision of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, imprisoned for not more than 90 days, or both.” 

The question is whether this is “in public” in a locked committee room — any more than sex in a congressional office after hours would be viewed as “in public.” 

There are also provisions concerning the misuse or damaging of government property such as Section 1361, which protects “any property” of the United States from willful depredation or attempted depredation. “Depredation” is defined as the act of plundering, robbing, pillaging or laying waste. However, mere possession of such property is not viewed as depredation. United States v. Jenkins, 554 F.2d 783, 786 (6th Cir. 1977).

There is also 18 U.S.C. 641 on the misuse of public money, property, or records: 

“Whoever embezzles, steals, purloins, or knowingly converts to his use or the use of another, or without authority, sells, conveys or disposes of any record, voucher, money, or thing of value of the United States or of any department or agency thereof, or any property made or being made under contract for the United States or any department or agency thereof; or 

Whoever receives, conceals, or retains the same with intent to convert it to his use or gain, knowing it to have been embezzled, stolen, purloined or converted— 

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; but if the value of such property in the aggregate, combining amounts from all the counts for which the defendant is convicted in a single case, does not exceed the sum of $1,000, he shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.” 

The Capitol police could argue that this constitutes purloining or using government property for personal purposes. 

The key factor is the fact that this videotape was made with the apparent intent to publish or to distribute. Sex in congressional offices — by both members and staff — have long been known to occur on Capitol Hill. Yet, this was a public hearing room, albeit closed at the time, and a tape made for what appears public viewing.

That brings us back to trespass. The question may be whether this was access under legal authority for a staffer. The Capitol police can argue that access to a staff position does not mean a license for entry for any purpose. Under 18 U.S.C. 1752, trespass covers anyone who “knowingly enters or remains in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority to do so.” 

Whether any charges will be brought forward is another thing. I doubt it, given the Democrats’ penchant for protecting their people, but it calls into question the overly aggressive and outright lunatic obsession the Justice Department has had on those involved in the January 6 incident. The charges called into question here apply to most of the individuals caught just roaming the halls of the Capitol Building, and they’re being arrested, charged, convicted, and given years’ long jail sentences.

Cardin’s communications team is dealing with a nightmare while their boss must suffer through a humiliating staffing mishap, months away from retirement. Cardin has been part of public life since 1967. This event will be how he’s remembered. It’s sad, but this person was warned to tone down his social media posts. It’s not like they should be shocked this happened.



Dem Senator Knew His Aide at the Center of Gay Sex Fiasco Was Trouble, But Promoted Him Anyway

By Matt Vespa | Townhall.com

The aide who was fired for his gay sex session in a Senate hearing room was known for his risqué social media posts. The world was made aware of Aidan Maese-Czeropski’s graphic video last Friday, where he was identified as one of the men in the clip. Maese-Czeropski was fired hours after the video became public, but not before he tried to play the victim card when he was exposed before deleting his LinkedIn page. 

Cardin’s office knew Maese-Czeropski’s social media activity was out of control but promoted him anyway. He reportedly continued to post racy material to a selected group of people on his Instagram. The point is that this aide’s social media presence was well-known, so this gay sex meltdown shouldn’t shock anyone. Cardin’s office had a chance to prevent a public relations catastrophe but decided to gamble—and lost.

In November, Senator Ben Cardin’s Chief of Staff Chris Lynch promoted U.C. Berkeley graduate Aidan Maese-Czeropski from his entry-level aide job while simultaneously warning the 23-year-old to stop posting nude and seminude photographs to his public Instagram page, according to a person familiar with the situation. 

Maese-Czeropski affirmed the warning in a now-deleted story posted to his Instagram page, in which he said the “chief of staff just promoted me and in the same breath suggested I tone down my social media.” 

For about two weeks, Maese-Czeropski relegated most of his revealing posts to a “Close Friends” feed, where he posted nude photographs of himself while working from home and while traveling to Las Vegas and other places, according to a source within Senator Cardin’s office who asked to remain anonymous because they were not authorized to speak with reporters without permission. He began posting publicly again earlier this month, where his unclothed photographs were available to more than 1,000 followers, including some who worked with Maese-Czeropski in the U.S. Senate, the source said. 


Despite the questionable posts, few within Senator Cardin’s office felt there was much they could do about Maese-Czeropski’s social media activity, with Lynch telling one staffer that the posts were “made on a personal account” and that the office “didn’t want to come across as impeding on the personal expression of an openly-gay staffer,” the source said. 

Lynch and Senator Cardin’s communications director, Sue Walitsky, did not respond to an email from The Desk seeking comment on the matter. 

The public embarrassment for Cardin, who is retiring from public life after his term expires in 2025, is the least of it. Maese-Czeropski could be facing legal action for his unauthorized use of the room.


Perverts in the Senate

By Derek Hunter | Townhall.com

AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib

Honestly, when I saw the story of the sex tape filmed in the Senate, I was a little confused. I thought, how could a crew get in there to film it, even guerilla style? Having worked there, I know you can get away with a lot, but this seemed like a bit much. As more details emerged, the story became clearer and those questions were replaced by other ones. Ultimately, the whole thing is just another symptom of how far the country has fallen and how rotten our culture has gotten. If you’ve been paying attention to the world around us, and you’re being honest with yourself, is it any wonder a Senate staffer would in a hearing room what the government has been doing to all of us for decades?

It doesn’t matter that the sex was between two men, what matters is what the whole thing exemplifies. There has been a lot of sexual activity in the United States Capitol Building, I can assure – straight, gay, and a whole bunch of things in between. Ted Kennedy served there for decades, for crying out loud. 

And there still is. 

Hell, in 1983 there was a scandal involving two Members of the House of Representatives – Republican Dan Crane and Democrat Gerry Studds – having sex with 17-year-old House Pages. A Page is akin to an intern, though they’re generally high school students spending time in DC being errand runners for Members. You see them sitting around the well of the House, waiting for someone to give them orders. It’s a relic from a time long gone and should probably be ended. That it survived the 1983 scandal is a testament to just how entrenched in the Capitol culture they are.

Anyway, since the age of consent in DC was 16 (let that sink in), both Crane and Studds were admonished but not expelled. Crane, who’d had sex with a 17-year-old female page, was tossed by Republican voters in 1984, but Democrats kept sending Studds, who was gay and whose partner was a 17-year-old male, to Washington until he retired in 1997, because why not? 

When you hear Democrats talk about how standards have deteriorated, please remember they did not expel Gerry Studds, even though they held a large majority in the House. 

And again, there have been quite a few Kennedy’s who served there, so it’s never really been treated as a nunnery. 

What’s new, and a sign of our further cultural demise, is the filming of it. It was not a professional crew shooting a porno movie on the quick, it’s was the participants filming themselves, posing for pictures with no ambiguity that both knew what was happening. 

Filming it is one thing, I guess, but then it was shared with others online. I’ve never been an exhibitionist, I didn’t need to film most aspects of my life – I was there, I saw it live and remember it. No one who wasn’t there needs to see most of what has happened in anyone’s lives, so I didn’t even ever try to capture most of it. 

Now, in a world where follower count is someone’s most marketable skillset, filming everything is almost required. Sharing it is too.

I still find it odd that the guy was hired to begin with. He wasn’t discrete. Who hires a guy who posted sexually explicit pictures of himself all over his social media manage to get a job there in the first place? Did no one do a simple Internet search during the hiring process? (The answer is: Democrats have no standards, and this will soon be a requirement for being hired by them anyway, so this guy was just ahead of the curve.)

A gay friend of mine tells me this is not uncommon in gay circles, especially with younger gay men. So much of their existence is tied to getting laid, he says, that conventional is boring. “Everyone is looking for the next rush, the next thing to shock,” he says. This was just a part of that.

Add to that the fact that young people are incredibly stupid and you get a recipe for what happened. 

These are people who post pictures of every meal they eat, because if you didn’t at least try to make someone jealous of what your ordered at an expensive restaurant, did you really enjoy it? Sex and exhibitionism are the same thing. I mean, these people post pictures of their vacations while they’re on them, essentially inviting someone to break into their homes. You’re not dealing with fully developed brains here.

A lot of people have fooled around in their offices, few have filmed it. Fewer still have shared those videos with others and gotten caught. This guy in the Senate isn’t the first, and he won’t be the last. There are perverts everywhere, why would anyone think the Senate would be different?