Oct 23, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Rep. Katie Hill investigated over alleged improper relationship

 Rep. Katie Hill, D-Calif., speaks at a press conference to introduce ACTION for National Service outside of the Capitol on Tuesday June 25

Rep. Katie Hill speaks at a press conference outside of the Capitol in June. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call

Rep. Katie Hill (D-Calif.) is being investigated by the House Ethics Committee over allegations that she engaged in a sexual relationship with a congressional staffer in possible violation of House rules, the panel said in a statement. Hill denies any wrongdoing and says she will cooperate with the panel, per the Los Angeles Times.

The big picture: Conservative website RedState alleged in several articles published over the weekend that Hill, who flipped a Republican-held district in 2018 after being endorsed by former President Obama, engaged in relationships with a woman on her campaign team and her legislative director, Graham Kelly, which the Washington Post notes "would violate House ethics rules."

What she's saying: Hill denied in a letter to constituents Wednesday that she had a relationship with Kelly but admitted being involved in a relationship with the campaign staffer "during the final tumultuous years of my abusive marriage," per the LA Times.

  • "I know that even a consensual relationship with a subordinate is inappropriate, but I still allowed it to happen despite my better judgment," she said, per the news outlet.
  • The freshman lawmaker told The Hill in a statement, "The fact is I am going through a divorce from an abusive husband who seems determined to try to humiliate me. I am disgusted that my opponents would seek to exploit such a private matter for political gain."

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper