Washington Bureau

12.11.13

Capitol Hill Child Porn Arrest

The chief of staff for Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander was arrested Wednesday for allegedly possessing and distributing child pornography.

Ryan Loskarn, the chief of staff for Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) was arrested Wednesday afternoon on charges relating to possessing and distributing child pornography. Loskarn joined Alexander’s office in 2011 after serving as a staff director for the Senate Republican Conference. In an article at the time, Roll Call described him as “one of the Senate GOP’s top strategists and aides.” However, it seems likely that Loskarn’s career as a D.C. mover and shaker is at an end.

On Wednesday morning, agents from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service raided Loskarn’s home after “allegations involving child pornography.” A few hours later, they arrested Loskarn, who was led from his Washington, D.C., home by agents into a waiting black SUV. Almost immediately after the arrest, Alexander fired Loskarn—or “removed him from the payroll,” in his office’s almost quaint terminology—and replaced him with longtime aide David Cleary. Prior to Loskarn’s arrest, Alexander, in a previous press release, said he was putting his chief of staff on unpaid adminstrative leave due to the investigation, which the Tennessee Republican said left him “stunned, surprised and disappointed.”

Loskarn, 35, is a native of Sykesville, Maryland, who graduated from Tulane University and has since made a career as a Republican staffer on Capitol Hill. Prior to joining Alexander’s office, his influence as a staffer had led him to be named one of Roll Call’s “Fabulous 50.”

It is unlikely that the arrest will have any political impact on Alexander, who is running for reelection in 2014. The two-term Tennessee senator, who previously served as the Volunteer State’s governor as well as U.S. Secretary of Education under George H.W. Bush, is facing a primary challenge from state Rep. Joe Carr, a Tea Party supporter who considers Alexander to be too moderate. When asked for comment, a spokesperson for Carr said, “We will not be putting out a statement on this issue.”