Freshman Representative Katie Hill (D-Ca) has rejected allegations that she has been involved in an improper relationship with her legislative director, Graham Kelly, amid reports alleging that she has had two affairs. In her public statement, published by several outlets, the 32-year-old politician blamed her estranged "abusive husband" for the controversy and stated that he “seems determined to try to humiliate me" while they are in the midst of a divorce.
"Allegations that I have been involved in a relationship with Mr. Kelly are absolutely false. I am saddened that the deeply personal matter of my divorce has been brought into public view and the vindictive claims of my ex have now involved the lives and reputations of unrelated parties", she said in the statement, first released by Politico. However, as Fox News, which also received a copy, points out, it did not address the throuple allegations.
The issue was brought up by the outlet Red State, which published what appear to be nude photos of the congresswoman with her campaign staffer, said to have been involved in the “throuple” with her husband Kenny Heslep, as well as snaps of his Facebook posts and messages, claiming that Hill also had an affair with Kelly. The latter might be a violation of House rules that were passed in February 2018 in the wake of the #MeToo movement.
As the politician stated, she has turned to the US Capitol Police to look into how these intimate materials were published.
"Intimate photos of me and another individual were published by Republican operatives on the internet without my consent. I have notified Capitol Hill police who are investigating the situation and potential legal violations of those who posted and distributed the photos, and therefore will have no further comment on the digital materials”, she stated.
She also lambasted what she referred to as a “smear campaign”, saying it “will not get in the way of the work” that she is doing in Congress and her constituency. Several Democratic sources told Politico that she has also informed Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer that the claims are untrue.
As Politico points out, sources close to aides of the Democratic leadership dismiss the allegations as coming from GOP operatives in California who are trying to politically undermine Hill. In her statement, the congresswoman also took aim at her opponents.
"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”, Hill, who defeated Republican Representative Steve Knight in 2018 in her district, is now facing several GOP rivals in her 2020 congressional campaign.
Hill is on the Armed Services Committee and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, in which she serves as vice chairwoman. The latter is one of six committees that Pelosi has tasked with the “impeachment inquiry” into Donald Trump over allegations that he abused his power and pressed the Ukrainian president to investigate his political rival Joe Biden’s son.