Conservatives are crying foul after U.S. Capitol Police announced on Thursday that a Democrat staffer who filmed a sex tape in the Senate would not face charges.
In a statement to the public, the law enforcement agency revealed that the investigation would be closed after prosecutors determined that no crime had been committed.
“For now, we are closing the investigation into the facts and circumstances surrounding a sex video that was recorded inside the Hart Senate Office Building on the morning of Wednesday, December 13,” the police said. “After consulting with federal and local prosecutors, as well as doing a comprehensive investigation and review of possible charges, it was determined that — despite a likely violation of Congressional policy — there is currently no evidence that a crime was committed.”
The statement went on to note that although the room had been closed to the public, the staffer was able to gain access due to their position. Police added that the two individuals believed to be involved, including the staffer who was fired after the controversy broke, “were not cooperative” and invoked their Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.
The sex tape was first revealed back in December after a copy was leaked to the conservative outlet the Daily Caller. The staffer was later identified as Aidan Maese-Czeropski, an aide to Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Maryland).
The announcement from the Capitol Police quickly stirred outrage among conservatives, who pointed to the charges made against those who stormed the Capitol in 2021 as evidence of bias.
“You aren’t allowed to walk around peacefully in the Capitol, but you can film hardcore gay pornography and broadcast it, that’s totally fine,” one right-wing influencer said. “This is the US govt.”
Others pointed to Richard Barnett, the man who infamously placed his feet on the desk of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) during the Capitol riot. Although Barnett brought a stun gun into the building and stole an envelope off of Pelosi’s desk, conservatives nevertheless argued that the staffer should face similar charges.
“You can film yourself having gay sex on a Capitol desk, but if you put your feet up on one you get four years in prison,” one user said.
Numerous users also made note of Jacob Chansley, also known as the QAnon Shaman, who became one of the best-known faces of the riot after breaching the Capitol.
“Jacob Chansley spent 310 days in solitary before he took a plea deal then was sentenced to 41 months in prison for saying a prayer in the Senate chamber.
References were also made to a recent incident in which a Christian man from Mississippi was charged with a hate crime after admittedly destroying a Satanic monument in the Iowa Capitol that was protected by religious liberty laws.
“Same country where hating Satan is a crime,” another added.
Many simply decried the act as indecent and noted that President Joe Biden had previously said that his administration would reestablish norms and decency in the White House.
“Norm restored,” commentator Stephen L. Miller said.
The Capitol Police say their investigators are willing to review new evidence related to the incident if any becomes available.