The House Ethics Committee has formally launched an investigation into whether Rep. Katie Hill (D-CA) had an inappropriate “sexual relationship” with a congressional staffer, according to a statement released Wednesday.
In a statement on Wednesday, the committee wrote, “The Committee is aware of public allegations that Representative Katie Hill may have engaged in a sexual relationship with an individual on her congressional staff, in violation of House Rule XXIII, clause 18 (a)”:
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) October 23, 2019
Allegations surfaced this week in a report from RedState, which provided pictures and texts purportedly proving that Hill was in a “throuple” relationship with her now-estranged husband Kenny Heslep and a female staffer. According to the report, Hill broke off the alleged relationship with both her husband and the staffer after moving to D.C. and allegedly went on to have an affair with Graham Kelly, who is now her legislative director.
As previously reported:
According to RedState, the three — Hill, Heslep, and the young female staffer — “took multiple vacations together, including to Alaska, where this photograph was taken.” The image referenced allegedly shows a censored image of Hill brushing the staffer’s hair in the nude. Other images allegedly show Hill and the staffer kissing.
According to RedState, the “throuple’s” relationship changed once Hill moved to D.C., and Hill “broke off her relationships with both Heslep and the staffer, claiming she wanted to focus on ‘this important work’ and that it wasn’t fair to be involved in a relationship.” The outlet shared screenshots of text messages allegedly between Hill and the staffer, who was “distraught and trying to figure out how to move on with her life.”
In one text, the staffer asks Hill if she ended their relationship due to the “political risk.”
“No. I mean I guess maybe partially. Honestly, though, it’s that I want to be alone,” Hill allegedly replied. “I don’t want to be accountable to anyone else. I want to be entirely focused on this work that I think is so important.”
“And that’s not fair to anyone as a partner,” the text reads.
“RedState was also provided with intimate photographs of the women, which we have chosen not to publish,” the outlet added.
RedState emphasized Hill’s role on the Oversight and Reform and Armed Services committees as reasons for the publication of her alleged relationships, citing national security concerns.
Hill has denied the allegations.
“The fact is I am going through a divorce from an abusive husband who seems determined to try to humiliate me,” Hill told Politico, calling the allegations a “coordinated effort to try to destroy me and people close to me.”
“I am disgusted that my opponents would seek to exploit such a private matter for political gain. This coordinated effort to try to destroy me and people close to me is despicable and will not succeed,” she continued.
“I, like many women who have faced attacks like this before, am stronger than those who want me to be afraid,” she added.
Hill has reportedly reached out to Democrat leadership – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) – to “deny the allegations,” Politico’s John Bresnahan and Heather Caygle reported.