Rep. Katie Hill is resigning from Congress amid an allegation that she had an inappropriate relationship with a member of her staff.
The conservative website Redstate published text messages and photos indicating that Hill had been in a consensual sexual relationship with a woman staffer working for her campaign and that she was also involved with a male staffer in her congressional office. Hill, who is openly bisexual, admitted and apologized for having a relationship with the female staffer, but denied any improper relationship with the male staffer. Hill said those claims came from her husband, who she is divorcing. In her resignation statement, Hill called her husband "abusive."
The House Ethics Committee recently opened an investigation into the allegation that California Rep. Hill was involved with the male staffer in her office, which would be against House ethics rules.
Hill also appears to be a victim of "revenge porn": Redstate and British tabloid the Daily Mail also published nude photos of her without her consent. Hill said the person who distributed them should be “punished to the full extent of the law.”
“This is what needs to happen so that the good people who supported me will no longer be subjected to the pain inflicted by my abusive husband and the brutality of political operatives who seem to happily provide a platform to a monster who is driving a smear campaign built around cyber exploitation,” Hill said in a statement.
Hill said she will continue to pursue “all of our available legal options” over the photos that were published without her consent.
Hill, 32, was seen as a rising star in the party. In 2018, she defeated Republican Steve Knight. In the statement announcing her resignation, Hill thanked her supporters and said that she would continue to work to “defeat this type of exploitation that so many women are victims to.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Hill had "a bright vision for the future" and "has made a great contribution as a leader of the Freshman Class."
"She has acknowledged errors in judgment that made her continued service as a Member untenable," Pelosi said in a statement. "We must ensure a climate of integrity and dignity in the Congress, and in all workplaces.”