Rep. Katie Hill resigns amid sexual misconduct allegations with staffers

Freshman Rep. Katie Hill resigned Sunday amid allegations she had inappropriate relations with staffers.

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“It is with a broken heart that today I announce my resignation from Congress. This is the hardest thing I have ever had to do, but I believe it is the best thing for my constituents, my community and our country,” Hill said in a statement.

Hill, 32, was a rising star in the Democratic Party who arrived in Congress this year.

However, she has been embroiled in an ethics probe after allegations she had inappropriate relations with a female staffer and a male staffer, as well.

Hill had denied the allegations. She said she is the target of a political smear campaign and had asked the U.S. Capitol Police to investigate potential legal violations for posting and distributing the compromising photos online without her consent.

The photos of Hill and purported text messages from her to the female campaign staffer, a recent college graduate when she joined Hill's campaign, surfaced online this week in a right-wing publication and a British tabloid. Among the photos, Hill is seen embracing and kissing the woman.

Hill also is contending with a contentious divorce from a husband she calls abusive and blames for circulating the photographs that appeared online. While not providing any evidence of abuse by Kenneth Heslep, Hill says she turned elsewhere for companionship because of their turbulent relationship and lamented that "the deeply personal matter of my divorce has been brought into public view."

“Having private photos of personal moments weaponized against me has been an appalling invasion of privacy,” she wrote in the letter. “It’s also illegal, and we are pursuing all of our available legal options. However, I know that as long as I am in Congress, we’ll live fearful of what might come next and how much it will hurt.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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