Updated: 6:35 p.m.
The chief of staff to a senior Republican senior was arrested Wednesday on charges of possessing and distributing child pornography, the Justice Department said.
Law enforcement officials on Wednesday searched the home of Ryan Loskarn, the top aide to Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander, according to Alexander’s office.
“I am stunned, surprised and disappointed by what I have learned,” Alexander said in the statement. “Based on this information, I immediately placed Mr. Loskarn on administrative leave without pay. The office is fully cooperating with the investigation.”
Loskarn, 35, has been the chief of staff to Alexander, a veteran conservative and former presidential candidate, since 2011. Prior to that, Loskarn was staff director for the Senate GOP conference. Considered an up-and-coming Republican strategist, he was named to the “Fabulous 50” list in 2009 by the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call.
Loskarn will be arraigned Thursday morning, Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr said Wednesday, the Associated Press reports.
Loskarn could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday afternoon, with calls to his cell phone going straight to voicemail.