A Maryland man arrested this week after authorities said they found child pornography on his cellphone worked for President Trump’s voter fraud commission, according to a senior administration official.
Ronald Williams II, 37, of Suitland, was a researcher for the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, said the official, who requested anonymity to discuss a personnel matter.
Trump launched the commission after making unfounded claims that millions of fraudulently cast ballots cost him the popular vote in last year’s election against Democrat Hillary Clinton. The commission is chaired by Vice President Pence and co-chaired by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R).
Williams was on secondment to the commission from the Office of the Special Counsel, an independent federal investigative and prosecutorial agency. His work with the voting commission was abruptly terminated this week, the senior administration official said. A spokeswoman for the Office of the Special Counsel declined to comment on Williams’s status with that agency.
Williams faces 11 counts of possession and distribution of child pornography, officials said.
The Maryland State Police said its task force on Internet crimes against children received a tip of a possible distribution of child pornography from a certain Internet address. The tip came from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, police said.
Police searched Williams’s home and later arrested him. A preliminary forensic look at Williams’s cellphone found “multiple files of child pornography,” according to state police.
Williams was taken to central booking for processing and an initial court appearance.
Dana Hedgpeth contributed to this report.