AGUA DULCE – Rep. Katie Hill [D-CA] resigned Sunday over allegations she had a relationship with a member of her staff, and she released a video Monday morning addressing supporters and her community. [View it above]
Hill said: “I made this decision so that my supporters, my family, my staff and our community will no longer be subjected to the pain inflicted by my abusive husband and the brutality of hateful political operatives.”
“This coordinated campaign carried out by the right-wing media and Republican opponents, enabling and perpetuating my husband’s abuse by providing him a platform, is disgusting and unforgivable and they will be held accountable,” Hill continued. “But I will not allow myself to be a distraction from the constitutional crisis we’re faced with and the critical work of my colleagues, and so I have to take my personal fight outside the halls of Congress.”
It was not immediately clear when Hill’s resignation would take effect.
Los Angeles County Democratic Party Chair Mark Gonzalez lamented Hill’s resignation.
“We are sorry to lose a good public servant in Congresswoman Katie Hill,” Gonzalez said. “We thank her for putting her district first over the personal attacks that have been levied her way.
“We do not condone this kind of behavior from anyone and most of all, our elected leaders. No one in any profession should live in fear of having intimate and deeply personal moments used as weapons against them.
“As Democrats, we are proud to stand against sexual harassment of any kind and we have procedures in place to protect all. We will continue to fight for progress and justice for our communities.”
Former Rep. Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, whom Hill defeated last November, posted the following statement on his campaign page: “I am looking to run and am thankful for all the calls encouraging me to return to Congress.”
Angela Underwood Jacobs, a Republican from Lancaster who announced her candidacy for CA-25, issued the following statement on Hill’s resignation: “Katie Hill blatantly violated the trust of voters of the 25th District which is why I was the first of her opponents to call on her to resign. I’m a committed wife, mother, trusted community banker and an experienced local elected official. If I’m elected to serve the people of the 25th District in Congress, I will never let them down.”
Mike Garcia, a former naval officer who also announced his candidacy before Hill’s troubles surfaced, said “Katie Hill did the right thing by resigning from Congress. “The past week has been a complete distraction from the important work that needs to be done, and it’s time for our district to move forward and unite around a leader,” Garcia said.
Another previously declared Republican candidate, Mark Cripe, said Hill’s resignation “affords California’s 25th District an opportunity to move forward in a positive direction, with new representation that better hears and supports all the families of the Antelope, Santa Clarita and Simi valleys.”
The House Ethics Committee announced Oct. 23 that it had begun an investigation into Hill, who issued a statement Oct. 22 calling the allegation “absolutely false.”
“The fact is I am going through a divorce from an abusive husband who seems determined to try to humiliate me,” Hill said. “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.
“I, like many women who have faced attacks like this before, am stronger than those who want me to be afraid,” Hill said.
Hill said in the statement that she had contacted U.S. Capitol Police after intimate photos of her and another person were published by the conservative website RedState, images she said were “published by Republican operatives on the internet without my consent.”
RedState published a series of articles over the last week alleging Hill was involved in relationships with a campaign staffer and, separately, a congressional staff member. Text messages purportedly between Hill, the campaign aide and her husband were published by the site on Oct. 22.
Hill called the articles a “smear campaign.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, Hill sent a letter to constituents on Oct. 23 acknowledging a relationship with a member of her campaign staff.
“I know that even a consensual relationship with a subordinate is inappropriate, but I still allowed it to happen despite my better judgment,” Hill wrote in the letter.
She also said she was cooperating with the House Ethics Committee.
The House voted in 2018 to prohibit sexual relationships between lawmakers and their employees.
Hill was elected last November to represent the 25th Congressional District, which includes the Antelope Valley, Santa Clarita Valley, and portions of the northern San Fernando Valley and eastern Ventura County.
Hill was executive director of People Assisting The Homeless (PATH), which bills itself as California’s largest homeless services organization, before being elected to Congress.
The 32-year-old Hill was vice chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee and a member of the House Armed Services Committee and House Science, Space and Technology Committee.
Hill was California’s first openly bisexual member of Congress.
Previous related story: House Ethics Committee begins investigation into Rep. Katie Hill