Katie Hill’s Defenders Have It Wrong: Male Politicians’ Extramarital Affairs Have Repeatedly Cost Them Their Jobs

Peter Hasson on November 1, 2019

Democratic California Rep. Katie Hill and her defenders have said the congresswoman is the victim of a double standard, but history indicates otherwise.

Hill is resigning over alleged extramarital affairs she had with two different staffers. She admitted to having an “inappropriate” affair with a female campaign staffer, but denied having an affair with a male congressional aide, which would have violated House ethics rules.

Hill blamed her resignation Thursday on what she called a sexist double standard — a line that multiple media outlets echoed in their coverage of her resignation.

On the contrary, extramarital affairs have repeatedly cost male politicians their jobs. Contrary to Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — who said that “revenge porn” doesn’t “happen to male members in the same way” — male politicians have repeatedly seen lewd photos of themselves leaked without their consent.

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Here are some examples:

Joe Barton 

Former Republican Texas Rep. Joe Barton announced in his retirement in 2017, after a nude photograph of the congressman was posted online, revealing an extramarital affair. Barton apologized for the photo and left Congress after his seventeenth term.

Mark Souder

An extramarital affair cost former Republican Indiana Rep. Mark Souder his job as well. Souder resigned in 2010 after he admitted to having an affair with one of his congressional staffers — the same allegation that Hill faced before she announced her resignation.

Christopher Lee 

Former Republican New York Rep. Chris Lee resigned in 2011, after left-wing blog Gawker published a shirtless photo the married congressman sent to a woman other than his wife. Unlike Hill, Lee was not alleged to be involved with any of his own staffers.

Tim Murphy

Former Republican Pennsylvania Rep. Tim Murphy resigned in 2017 after admitting to an extramarital affair. Murphy reportedly encouraged his mistress to have an abortion after she became pregnant.

Anthony Weiner

Former Democratic New York Rep. Anthony Weiner resigned from Congress in 2011 after he was revealed to have sent explicit photographs of himself to a number of women. Weiner’s sexting scandals continued after he left Congress — his 2013 mayoral bid was scuttled after he was exposing sexting under the name “Carlos Danger” — and he later served time in prison in relation to sexually explicit messages he exchanged with an underage girl.

Robert Livingston

More than two decades before Hill’s resignation, former Republican Louisiana Rep. Robert Livingston announced his resignation from Congress in 1998 after admitting to an extramarital affair.

DCwire features investigative reporting syndicated with permission from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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