US congresswoman resigns amid probe over relationship with staffer
WASHINGTON: US Representative Katie Hill, who is under investigation by the House ethics committee over an alleged relationship with a congressional staffer, said on Sunday that she was resigning from Congress.
Ms Hill, a 32-year-old California Democrat who was elected to the House of Representatives in November 2018, posted her resignation letter to Twitter, saying she believed it was best for her constituents, community and the country.
Ms Hill has admitted to an "inappropriate" relationship with a campaign staffer when she was running for Congress but denied she had a sexual relationship with a staffer in her office.
The ethics committee said on Wednesday it was "aware of public allegations... (that Ms Hill) may have engaged in a sexual relationship with an individual on her congressional staff", and said it was investigating.
Ms Hill, who is going through a divorce, apologised in her resignation letter for "mistakes made along the way" but also lamented a "smear campaign".
Ms Hill blamed her husband and said she was pursuing legal options after media outlets published intimate photos that purported to be of the lawmaker.
"Having private photos of personal moments weaponised against me has been an appalling invasion of my privacy," said Ms Hill.
She serves on the House Armed Services and Oversight and Reform Committees, where she is also vice-chair.
She called herself a "fighter" in her statement.
"Now, my fight is going to be to defeat this type of exploitation that so many women are victims to and which will keep countless women and girls from running for office or entering public light."
Although Ms Hill's departure could help Republicans win back her seat in November 2020, they still face an uphill climb in their effort to regain control of the House. - REUTERS