Freshman Rep. Katie Hill is resigning from Congress after facing allegations of inappropriate sexual relationships with staffers in her office and on her congressional campaign. “It is with a broken heart that today I announce my resignation from Congress. This is the hardest thing I have ever had to do, but I believe it is the best thing for my constituents, my community and our country,” Hill wrote in a letter announcing the news after it was first reported by POLITICO.
Hill’s announcement capped a tumultuous 10-day episode that shook the Democratic Caucus. Hill was a prominent figure in the historic Democratic freshman class, and her resignation was a blow to the colleagues who defended her as the 10-day episode unfolded. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who has taken a hard line in sexual harassment cases, said in a statement that Hill had made the right decision in stepping down.
The Washington Post reports:
The allegations only came to light after a conservative news site and British tabloid published nude images of Hill without her consent — circumstances that have led many critics to note that Hill is both accused of sexual impropriety and is a victim of sexual exploitation.
Hill herself has acknowledged both aspects of her case, previously saying she knew “even a consensual relationship with a subordinate is inappropriate,” while vowing Sunday to mount a legal fight regarding the leak of intimate photos.
She has accused her “abusive husband,” with whom she is undergoing a contentious divorce, of engaging in a “smear campaign built around cyber exploitation,” saying he enlisted “hateful political operatives” for help. The nude photos were published by the conservative site RedState.org and the Daily Mail.
This is heartbreaking and a reminder that women in elected office are held to entirely different standards than their male colleagues. The horror of revenge porn and the cruelty of biphobia will not get nearly as much discussion as they deserve. https://t.co/6tYPYHEkwE
— Charlotte Clymer🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) October 27, 2019
46 women have accused Trump of sexual assault.
Meanwhile, one woman who was a ferocious advocate for the homeless, and who flipped a red seat blue, is forced from office thanks to revenge porn of a consensual relationship with a woman leaked by her abusive ex-husband. https://t.co/eNCyqWm490
— Elizabeth C. McLaughlin (@ECMcLaughlin) October 28, 2019
Katie Hill is resigning amid allegations of inappropriate relationships with staffers *and* after a campaign of harassment, including revenge porn, allegedly from an ex-husband who she calls “abusive.” Reporters should mention both those things!
— Molly Hensley-Clancy (@mollyhc) October 27, 2019
BREAKING: You publish revenge porn. https://t.co/GBqQS1rXS7
— Sleeping Giants (@slpng_giants) October 27, 2019
A 32-year-old woman is resigning for Congress admitting to inappropriate affairs after revenge porn was posted on a right-wing blog.
A president almost twice her age accused by more than 5 dozen women of sexual misconduct still in office and is still assailing women’s rights.
— LOLGOP (@LOLGOP) October 27, 2019
I don’t know who needs to hear this, but Rep. Duncan Hunter *had an affair with one of his Congressional staffers (plus others) and used his campaign funds to pay for his affairs*. He still hasn’t resigned. & AFAICT GOP leaders haven’t asked him to resign. https://t.co/2gJiESrYj7
— Sean Hecht (@seanhecht) October 28, 2019