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Democratic Rep. Katie Hill denies relationship with congressional staffer

Bridget Bowman, CQ-Roll Call on

Published in Political News

"Intimate photos of me and another individual were published by Republican operatives on the internet without my consent," Hill said. "I have notified Capitol Hill police who are investigating the situation and potential legal violations of those who posted and distributed the photos, and therefore will have no further comment on the digital materials."

Before Hill issued her statement, one of her potential Republican challengers, Lancaster City Councilmember Angela Underwood Jacobs, called on Hill to resign from Congress.

"While I believe that elected officials should be afforded a reasonable level of privacy, Ms. Hill's relationships with two different members of her staff cross the line of ethical boundaries that members of Congress should be held to," Underwood Jacobs said. "Ms. Hill's behavior exhibits extremely poor judgement -- it violates House ethics and it could have put our nation at risk due to her heightened potential to be blackmailed."

Hill slammed her political opponents, accusing them of exploiting her situation.

"I am disgusted that my opponents would seek to exploit such a private matter for political gain," Hill said. "This coordinated effort to try to destroy me and people close to me is despicable and will not succeed. I, like many women who have faced attacks like this before, am stronger than those who want me to be afraid."

Hill has been open about her bisexuality since she ran for Congress last year. She defeated GOP Rep. Steve Knight by 9 percentage points in California's 25th District, which is north of Los Angeles and includes most of Simi Valley. Republicans are targeting Hill in 2020, hoping to win back a seat that had long been held by the GOP. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the 25th District race Likely Democratic.

 

Since Hill came to Congress, she has emerged as one of the leaders of her freshman class. Hill and Colorado Democratic Rep. Joe Neguse are co-representatives of their class to leadership. The late Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings tapped Hill to serve as vice chairwoman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee.

(Katherine Tully-McManus contributed to this report.)

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