A junior-level legislative aide who was fired after a video surfaced showing him and another person having sex in a Congressional office building had been warned at least once about his risqué social media postings, The Desk has learned.
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.
Maese-Czeropski’s Instagram page was “something of an open secret” within Senator Cardin’s office, the source affirmed, adding that it was “generally known” that some of Maese-Czeropski’s posts connected him to his Senate job. One month before his promotion, Maese-Czeropski posted that he was “waiting for Lindsey Graham in the work showers,” referencing the Republican U.S. Senator from South Carolina. In another, Maese-Czeropski wrote that he was “trying to resist the urge to suck on Representative [Eric] Sorensen’s gorgeous fingers” while seated near to the openly-gay Congressman at a luncheon.
The whole Aidan Maese-Czeropski situation, first reported by @henryrodgersdc, has been interesting to watch play out. His social media activity was well known within @SenatorCardin's office, and he's posted questionable things for months, like this photo with @ERICSORENSEN. pic.twitter.com/Sf2dFCml03
— Matthew Keys (@MatthewKeysLive) December 16, 2023
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.
Maese-Czeropski was fired on Friday after he was identified as one of two men who appeared in a sexually-explicit video filmed within the Hart Senate Office Building. The video was posted to a private Twitter account used by Maese-Czeropski and separately published in a pornography-related group chat on a social messaging app. The Daily Caller, a right-of-center political news website, obtained a copy of the video and published a version of it that removed Maese-Czeropski’s face.
In a statement obtained by news outlets over the weekend, a spokesperson for Senator Cardin’s office said Maese-Czeropski was “no longer employed by the U.S. Senate,” without directly acknowledging the video or Maese-Czeropski’s posts.
On Friday, Maese-Czeropski posted a brief statement to his LinkedIn page in which he claimed to be seeking legal representation following the Daily Caller’s report.
“While some of my actions in the past have shown poor judgement, I love my job and would never disrespect my workplace,” Maese-Czeropski wrote. “Any attempts to characterize my actions otherwise are fabricated.”
More than 1,000 people commented on Maese-Czeropski’s LinkedIn post before his entire profile was deleted on Monday. Many of the comments were critical of Maese-Czeropski, with a gay Fortune 500 executive writing that he was “playing the homophobia card” while refusing to “take personal responsibility for what you did.”
Less clear is whether Maese-Czeropski will face any legal repercussions for the video, which was filmed in the same room where U.S. Supreme Court nominees are questioned by members of Congress. A spokesperson for the U.S. Capitol Police said a probe has been launched into the incident, but a law enforcement source told Fox News Digital that the agency was prioritizing more-pressing matters for investigation.