House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) mourned the resignation of Rep. Katie Hill (D-Calif.) whom she referred to as “our darling Katie,” following a sexual misconduct investigation.
Pelosi seemed distraught in a closed-door meeting with Hill on Monday night of this week.
“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 to the activity in question would be murky at best, considering that 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; that 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 it would be investigating the misconduct — and Hill admitted to the affair with a staffer while denying the other relationship.
She later announced 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
While it’s understandable to feel some level of sympathy for Hill regarding 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 #MeToo movement prohibiting sexual relationships between lawmakers and their employees.
Pelosi championed the bill and denounced the abuse the lawmakers 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
Some lawmakers came to Hill’s defense and accused 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 Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).
Is that really true, though? Would a male member of Congress survive the experience of the release of photos that showed him naked, smoking a bong, and sporting a controversial tattoo?
Anthony Weiner’s original sexting scandal involved an image of him barely covered up; that was followed by other images 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 out of office.
So complaints from Democrats who are playing the sexism card ring hollow, as we see it.
This piece originally appeared in The Political Insider and is used by permission.
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