A former GOP and Senate staffer, 27, has been arrested on child pornography charges

Ashley Collman-Sun, February 7, 2021, 5:47 AM

  • Ruben Verastigui was arrested on charges of receiving and possessing child pornography on Friday.
  • Verastigui’s LinkedIn shows he worked for the Senate Republican Conference until July.
  • He also previously worked for the Republican National Committee, designing ads for Trump.

A former GOP staffer, who once designed campaign ads for Trump, has been arrested on child pornography charges.

According to a press release from Washington, DC’s Metropolitan Police Department, 27-year-old Ruben Verastigui was arrested on Friday on charges of distributing, receiving, and possessing images of child pornography, following an investigation that started last March.

Verastigui’s LinkedIn page shows a long history of working for Republicans and conservative causes.

When the investigation started, he worked as a digital strategist for the Senate Republican Conference, leaving that position in July to become communications manager at Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions, a conservative green energy non-profit.

Verastigui appears to have been fired in the wake of his arrest.

“The details of the allegations against Mr. Verastigui are tragic and shocking,” a spokesperson for the non-profit told The Daily Beast on Saturday. “He is no longer employed by the organization and we are prepared to fully cooperate with law enforcement requests in this matter to any extent needed.”

He also previously worked as a senior designer for the Republican National Committee from May 2017 to July 2018. Part of his role involved designing ads for then-President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign.

His work history also includes stints at various anti-abortion organizations.

The Daily Beast and The Washington Post obtained court documents on Verastigui’s arrest, giving more insight into the accusations.

The documents detail how Homeland Security special agents came across Verastigui while looking for a group of at least 18 people who were trading child pornography on an unnamed website.

Verastigui sent messages to the group, saying he wanted to view “hardcore” videos, the records state.

At one point, Verastigui was alleged to have asked another member of the group to come to DC “for the purpose of sexually abusing a minor,” according to the records.

Verastigui admitted to being active on the website after his arrest on Friday, according to the court documents.

When reached for comment by The Post, a spokesperson for the Senate Republican Conference said: “We have just learned about this investigation and arrest. The individual has not worked at SRC since July 2, 2020.”

Insider reached out to the United States Congress Joint Economic Committee and the Republican National Committee, where Verastigui previously worked, but didn’t immediately receive a response from either Sunday morning.

An email to Verastigui’s attorney went unanswered Sunday morning.

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