House Speaker Nancy Pelosi mourned the resignation of Representative Katie Hill, whom she referred to as “our darling Katie,” following a sexual misconduct investigation.
Pelosi seemed distraught in a closed-door meeting with Hill.
“Our darling Katie. It’s so sad,” Pelosi said, according to multiple sources who spoke to Politico. “It goes to show you, we should say to young candidates, and to kids in kindergarten really, be careful when transmitting photos.”
Hill, in the view of some legal scholars, might be considered a predator based on the fact that her staffer’s consent would be murky at best, considering the congresswoman signed her checks.
“Speaker Pelosi said it best: her actions made it untenable for her to continue serving,” says @alicetweet on Rep. Katie Hill’s resignation.
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) October 28, 2019
Scandalous photos of Hill were leaked allegedly by her estranged husband and prompted revelations that she had been involved in a three-way sexual relationship involving a campaign staffer.
She was also the subject of allegations of an affair with her former finance director.
Subsequently, the House Committee on Ethics announced they would be investigating the misconduct, and Hill admitted to the affair with a staffer while denying the other relationship.
She would later announce her resignation in part due to pressure from Pelosi.
A generational divide among Democrats has emerged over what, if any, responsibility Katie Hill should assume for the firestorm that led to her resignation this week, as well as whether the same standards would be applied to a male lawmaker https://t.co/GRapTuGz6r
— POLITICO (@politico) October 31, 2019
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While it’s certainly understandable to feel some level of sympathy for Hill regarding these embarrassing photos, Pelosi’s response is odd considering she championed a House rule change designed to prevent this specific kind of behavior.
Last February, the House adopted a new rule in response to the ‘Me Too’ movement prohibiting sexual relationships between lawmakers and their employees.
Pelosi championed the bill and denounced the abuse they were trying to prevent.
“With this bill, we are shining a blazing light on the scourge of workplace abuse, which has been allowed to fester in the shadows for too long,” she declared.
Hill’s affair with the congressional aide is a clear violation of this rule and a clear example of the ‘scourge of workplace abuse.’
Actress @Alyssa_Milano: “If Katie Hill were a man,” he wouldn’t have needed to resign for having an affair with a staffer in violation of House rules.
“I do wish that she would have fought a little harder. I would have fought by her side.” pic.twitter.com/0ZdfEdYQxG
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) October 30, 2019
Would This Have Happened to a Man?
Some lawmakers are coming to Hill’s defense and accusing the husband of engaging in revenge porn.
“This doesn’t happen to male members in the same way — revenge porn in this respect. It’s horrific,” said New York socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Is that really true though? Would a male member of Congress survive photos being released of them showing them naked, smoking a bong, and sporting a controversial tattoo?
Anthony Weiner’s original sexting scandal involved an image of him barely covered up and accidentally leaked online, which were followed by others leaked to news sites by several women.
His career, of course, didn’t survive, and he was forced to resign. His scandals worsened over the years, but the initial images were certainly not worse than Hill’s, Weiner is male, and he was forced from office.
Complaints from Democrats playing the sexism card ring hollow.
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