House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) issued a statement Sunday after Rep. Katie Hill (D-CA) announced her resignation amid allegations of inappropriate relationships with staffers.
“Congresswoman Katie Hill came to Congress with a powerful commitment to her community and a bright vision for the future, and has made a great contribution as a leader of the Freshman Class,” Pelosi said. “She has acknowledged errors in judgment that made her continued service as a Member untenable. We must ensure a climate of integrity and dignity in the Congress, and in all workplaces.”
Hill’s resignation has roiled Washington and kick-started a debate on the different standards men and women are held to in the #MeToo era.
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.
See my official statement below. https://t.co/RO8B0znc6C
— Katie Hill (@KatieHill4CA) October 27, 2019
Hill’s resignation ends a tumultuous period begun when far-right blog RedState accused her of having an affair with a male congressional staffer, as well as a three-way relationship with a female campaign staffer and Hill’s estranged husband, with whom she is in the midst of an acrimonious divorce. The outlet published multiple intimate pictures of Hill, including a nude one.
Later in the week, right-wing British tabloid “The Daily Mail” also published explicit pictures of Hill. She said that she was investigating legal action against the outlets and accused her husband of helming the “smear campaign” against her.
Hill vehemently denied the allegations about the male staffer, her legislative director Graham Kelly, but eventually admitted to the relationship with the female campaign staffer, saying that she engaged in the inappropriate behavior “despite her better judgement.”
The House Ethics Committee opened an investigation into her alleged relationship with Kelly Wednesday, as it would have broken newly-instated ethics rules dictating congresspeople’s interactions with their employees, if proven.
Hill apologized to the “people who have been hurt” and pledged herself to fighting “exploitation” of women and girls similar to what she experienced.
Some have pointed out the hypocrisy of a consensual, though admittedly inappropriate, relationship politically felling Hill while President Donald Trump and Supreme Court Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas, all three credibly accused of sexual harrasment and/or assault, have kept their positions.