Rep. Katie Hill (D-CA) faces a predicament that is a “teachable moment” on the importance of due process rights, which she and other Democrats cast aside in their crusade against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh last year.
Hill faces allegations that she had a romantic relationship with a Capitol Hill staffer, which is against House ethics rules that Democrats passed earlier this year in the wake of the #metoo movement.
The first-term representative from a swing district in California campaigned heavily on #metoo themes, arguing that the only way to end a political culture that encouraged sexual harassment was to elect more female leaders to office.
Standing up against a culture of sexual harassment is our opportunity & obligation. We need to make stronger policies, elect more women leaders & address the power imbalances which created this problem. Failure to do so will be our great moral shame. https://t.co/kuspCitz7Q
— Katie Hill (@KatieHill4CA) December 1, 2017
— Katie Hill (@KatieHill4CA) July 10, 2018
She is now admitting to having had an affair with a staffer on her congressional campaign, and is cooperating with a House Ethics Committee investigation. She has blamed a “smear campaign” and also complained to Capitol Police.
It is also entirely possible that Hill is innocent, and a victim of “revenge porn.” The fact that her admitted affair was extramarital and with a woman is sensational, but arguably irrelevant. Hill campaigned openly as bisexual last year.
Moreover, workplace relationships can and do happen. Not all of them are evidence of exploitation or wrongdoing; many Americans meet their future spouses at work. As long as the rules are followed, there should be no problem.
But Hill argued accusers had to be believed, almost automatically; that sexual harassment was a problem of the “patriarchy”; and that Kavanaugh had to be stopped. She has also declared President Donald Trump a “criminal” and supports impeachment.
After all that, Hill has the audacity to declare that she will “not have more to say” and to expect that her rights will be respected.
Perhaps now she realizes the point Republicans have been making: the accused have rights, too.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.