A 37-year-old researcher for President Donald Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity was arrested this week after authorities found child pornography on his phone.
The Washington Post reported Saturday evening that a senior administration official confirmed that Ronald Williams II of Suitland, MD was a researcher employed by the commission.
Williams was on secondment to the commission from the Office of the Special Counsel, an independent federal prosecutorial body. The official who spoke to the Post — and declined to be named — said that Williams’ work for the voting commission was terminated this week. A spokeswoman for the Office of the Special Counsel declined to comment on his status with that agency.
According to the Post‘s John Wagner, the Maryland State Police’s Internet Crimes Task Force received a tip from The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about child pornography being distributed from a specific IP address.
Police searched Williams’ home, then placed him under arrest. “Multiple files of child pornography” were found in a preliminary forensic analysis of Williams’ cell phone.
He faces 11 counts of possessing and distributing child pornography.
Trump founded the Commission on Election Integrity after losing the popular vote to Democratic 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton by 3 million votes. The president declared that those votes must be “illegal voters” and established the commission to investigate.
Headed by former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach — known as “the king of voter suppression” — the commission has been shunned by voting rights activists and secretaries of state across the country. Critics say that the administration is asking for information from state voter rolls that it is not entitled to and believe that Republicans intend to use that data to disenfranchise Democratic voters in future elections.