The United States Senate was rocked by a sex tape scandal after a video of two men engaged in an explicit sex act in a Senate hearing room appeared online.
U.S. Capitol Police told Fox News they were aware of an amateur pornographic video published by the Daily Caller late Friday. The extremely graphic footage shows someone identified as a congressional staffer having sex with another man on the dais in hearing room 216 of the Hart Senate Office Building.
The identities of the men in the video have not been confirmed. The Daily Caller reported that the video was leaked in a chat and was "shared in a private group for gay men in politics."
Posts on social media claimed the alleged staffer worked for Sen. Ben Cardin's office. Hours after the story broke, Cardin's office announced that a legislative aide was "no longer employed by the U.S. Senate" but did not address reports linking a member of his staff to the sex tape.
A senior Congressional official told Fox News that if the sex acts were consensual, "no crime was committed," regardless of the locale.
Even so, the official said the act could have violated Senate ethics rules. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's office did not respond to a request for comment. Fox News Digital has reached out to several members of the Senate Ethics Committee, including ranking member Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., but has not received a response.
FOX News contributor Jonathan Turley suggested in a blog post that the individuals seen in the video could face potential criminal charges, even if the act was consensual.
"Obviously, the videotape will result in the termination of any staffers involved. However, the question is any possible criminal charge," Turley wrote on his website.
According to Turley, the charges would hinge on whether the unofficial use of a Senate hearing room would constitute trespass.
"One obvious criminal provision under the D.C. code is Section 22-1312 for lewd, indecent, or obscene acts," Turley wrote.
"The question is whether this is ‘in public’ in a locked committee room — any more than sex in a congressional office after hours would be viewed as ‘in public.’'
Room 216 in the Hart Senate Office Building is a famous hearing room. The dais where the graphic video was filmed is a place from which U.S. Senators have grilled high-profile presidential nominees, including justices of the Supreme Court.
Asked about the video, U.S. Capitol Police told Fox News "We are aware and looking into this."
Fox News' Chad Pergram contributed to this report.