The burgeoning scandal surrounding freshman Democrat Rep. Katie Hill (D-CA) threatens to cause serious repercussions for Democrats throughout the House of Representatives as they move forward with an effort to impeach President Donald Trump.
Last week, Red State published an explosive piece exposing that Hill had multiple simultaneous sexual relationships with at least two different staffers. At least one of them worked in her official congressional office, which is a plain-letter clear violation of the House’s rules for members, forbidding sexual relationships between members of Congress and their official office staff. The other was at least a campaign staffer, who is as of-yet-unidentified but may have been an official office staffer as well.
Hill, who has been married to her now-estranged husband Kenny Heslep for years, brought a 22-year-old woman who was on her campaign staff into their marriage to create a three-way “throuple” relationship during her run for Congress in 2018.
Red State’s Jennifer Van Laar reported:
Photographs and text messages obtained by RedState show that Rep. Hill was involved in a long-term sexual relationship with a female campaign staffer. The woman, whose name is not being released, was hired by Hill in late 2017 and quickly became involved in a ‘throuple’ relationship with Hill and her estranged husband, Kenny Heslep. Heslep and the staffer, according to text messages provided to RedState, believed the polyamorous arrangement to be a long-term, committed relationship.
The piece includes several salacious photographs of the now-congresswoman with the female staffer, including one of the congresswoman in the nude brushing the young staffer’s hair. Apparently, according to the report, the congresswoman earlier this year ended the relationship with the female staffer and with her husband, saying she wanted to focus on her work. Red State’s story also uncovers that Hill allegedly had a separate intimate relationship with her legislative director Graham Kelly, a male staffer of hers who worked in her official congressional office.
Van Laar wrote:
According to the text messages reviewed, after Hill left the throuple Heslep was told ‘by numerous sources’ that Hill had been involved in a sexual relationship for a year with her then-finance director, now Legislative Director, Graham Kelly. In a post on his now-deleted Facebook account, Heslep posted a screenshot of a text message between himself and a friend of the couple in which the friend admits that he now knows about the Hill/Kelly affair.
Members of Congress are forbidden by House rules to have sexual relationships with staff members in their congressional offices. The rule, first passed by the GOP majority in February 2018 as part of a broader effort to tamp down on sexual misconduct on Capitol Hill amid revelations that taxpayers funded millions of dollars worth of sexual harassment settlements during the broader #MeToo scandals that rocked America’s elites, has remained in House rules under the new Democrat majority.
A senior congressional aide told Breitbart News:
If Congresswoman Hill is engaged in a romantic relationship with one of her paid staffers, that is a clear cut ethics violation. These rules are in place to ensure Congress is a workplace free from abuse and sexual misconduct. The reports paint a troubling pattern that deserve a full investigation.
Roll Call reported on the rules change on Feb. 6, 2018, which details how the rules in the House now expressly prohibit members from having sexual relationships with aides:
In the wake of high-profile resignations over sexual harassment claims, the House on Tuesday approved sweeping changes to its internal rules intended to protect staffers, including a prohibition on sexual relationships between members and their aides.
That rule remains in place even under the new Democrat majority, under H. Res. 6, which expressly bans “sexual relationships between Members and committee staff.” H. Res. 6, offered by Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland, passed the House in early January right after Democrats took the majority.
It remains to be seen if the House Ethics Committee will launch a formal investigation of Hill’s behavior, and if so, what it will find and how it will handle the matter. Offices of several members on the House Ethics Committee declined to comment on Monday. Some other offices of both Republicans and Democrats say this problem is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s issue, and that she must step up to handle it personally—and that her silence speaks volumes as of now.
Top Democrats like Pelosi are remaining deliberately silent. Pelosi’s office has not responded to multiple requests for comment from Breitbart News on this matter, and has not answered a set of detailed questions sent to the Speaker, including whether she thinks it is acceptable for members of Congress to have sexual relations with their staff members.
What’s more, Hill is the Vice Chairwoman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and for a brief moment was the committee’s highest ranking member when its now former chairman Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) passed away late last week. Since Cummings’ passing, Pelosi quickly named Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) to replace Cummings atop the committee as its new acting chair, but Hill announced she will remain the committee’s vice chairwoman.
The House Oversight Committee is one of six committees that Pelosi has charged with conducting the so-called “impeachment inquiry” into President Trump, and Pelosi’s decision to allow Hill to stay there despite these revelations—a decision she alone can make—potentially puts the broader impeachment effort at risk because of compromising photographs and information about one of the leaders of the investigation being used as potential “Kompromat” against the Democrat congresswoman.
“RedState was also provided with intimate photographs of the women, which we have chosen not to publish,” Van Laar wrote in the Red State story.
In other words, there exists somewhere out there literal “Kompromat”—compromising information and images—on a Democrat congresswoman. Van Laar’s report notes the possibility of this information and these images being used to damage the country’s national security by a bad actor seeking to blackmail a powerful Democrat congresswoman.
Van Laar wrote:
In addition to the legal and ethical issues raised by allegations of a congresswoman having not one, but two extramarital affairs with people on her staff, concurrently, there are issues of national security. Hill serves on two influential committees in that regard: Oversight and Reform and Armed Services. She has access to extremely sensitive national security information. If people who don’t have our nation’s best interests at heart had access to the photographs, text messages, and other information provided to RedState, Rep. Hill would be an easy blackmail target.
The Cambridge English Dictionary defines “kompromat” as: “information or reports that could damage someone’s reputation.” The irony here is that Democrats have been claiming for the past few years that the Russians, including President Vladimir Putin, have “Kompromat” on Trump. Hillary Clinton suggested it just the other day, and House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA)–chairman of another of the committees leading the “impeachment inquiry”–used the term when he thought he was speaking to Ukrainian leaders who were actually Russians prank calling him.
Democrats have, despite their best efforts over the course of several years, uncovered no “kompromat” on Trump while constantly investigating salacious allegations against the president. But, now one of those top investigators–the Vice Chair of the House Oversight Committee–has actual “kompromat” being discovered about her, partially published in a Red State report that for now top House Democrats seem to be ignoring.
A spokeswoman for Maloney, now the acting chair of the House Oversight Committee, has not on Monday replied to a series of questions from Breitbart News on the matter:
1.) Does Rep. Maloney have any general comment on the revelation that Rep. Hill was having multiple affairs with several of her staff members?
2.) Does Rep. Maloney think it is acceptable for members of Congress to have sexual relationships with staff members?
3.) Since she is acting chairwoman of the Oversight Committee, does Rep. Maloney believe it is acceptable for Rep. Hill to continue to serve as vice chair of that committee?
4.) Does Rep. Maloney think the House Ethics Committee should investigate this matter?
5.) Does Rep. Maloney think these revelations distract from the broader work that the House Oversight Committee is doing, in particular on the “impeachment inquiry” into President Trump?
Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff Drew Hammill has not replied to a series of similar questions sent to the Speaker of the House through him.
Similarly, Hill has not denied the allegations or refuted them in any way. Her office has not replied to a series of questions from Breitbart News, including about the rules change. The questions, sent to Hill’s press aide, that she currently is not answering include:
1.) I haven’t seen any denial of any kind from the congresswoman or her office in response to this. Do you deny the allegations?
2.) Why does the congresswoman think it is appropriate for a member of Congress to have sexual relationships with staff members? Is she not concerned that said relationships may be inappropriate?
3.) Has the congresswoman discussed these matters with House leadership including with Speaker Pelosi in any way? What about with the House Oversight Committee’s new acting chairwoman Carolyn Maloney?
4.) I also see the congresswoman is the vice chair of the House Oversight Committee. Do these revelations–including the fact that according to Red State there are many more compromising photographs of the congresswoman, in other words literal “Kompromat”–threaten to undermine the congresswoman’s work and the Oversight Committee’s work on the “impeachment inquiry” into President Trump?
5.) On that note, the Red State story said they published this story out of concern that the congresswoman could be blackmailed or that this information could be used against her by bad actors. Does the congresswoman fear she may be blackmailed? Is there a national security risk to her engaging in these types of relationships? Has she ever been blackmailed?
6.) It is unclear if the House Ethics Committee will launch a formal probe of these revelations, but if they do–or if other official entities launch investigations on this matter–does the congresswoman intend to fully comply? Will she direct her staff, including the ones with whom she has had sexual relationships, to comply with any investigations as well?
Breitbart News also asked Hill’s office, after supplying evidence that the House rules expressly forbid sexual relationships between members of Congress and their staffs, if they believe she has always followed the House rules. Hill’s press aide has not replied.
Hill represents California’s 25th congressional district, a true battleground district that Republicans lost to her in the 2018 midterm. Its Cook Partisan Voting Index (PVI), published by the Cook Political Report, which rates how solidly Republican or Democrat each congressional district is nationwide, rates the district as EVEN–meaning it could break towards a Republican or a Democrat at any time. If Hill ends up in serious political trouble as a result of this story, it could be a boon for Republicans given the fact that this district is not one of the 31 districts currently represented by a Democrat in which Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton in his 2016 victory. Of those 31, 13 of them are districts that Trump won by six percent or more–and Republicans only need to take back a net 19 seats to retake the House majority. Losing districts outside of that core 31, as Hill’s battleground in the 25th is for Democrats, would endanger Democrat chances of holding the majority even more than they already are.