Contrary to what Jazz wrote earlier, it looks like we will have Katie Hill to kick around a while longer — or so she hopes. The Washington Post reports that the newly resigned member of Congress doesn’t plan to sink quietly back into obscurity after the exposure of her “throuple” with a staffer and other affairs. She plans to crusade against “revenge porn,” which Hill claims was the actual cause of her downfall:

The California Democrat’s announcement Sunday that she would resign comes after the House Ethics Committee opened an investigation into allegations that she had a romantic relationship with her legislative director, which would violate House ethics rules, and which Hill denied. Hill was also accused of having a three-person sexual relationship with a female campaign staffer and her now-estranged husband, which she admitted was improper.

But the allegations only came to light after a conservative news site and British tabloid published nude images of Hill without her consent — circumstances that have led many critics to note that Hill is both accused of sexual impropriety and is a victim of sexual exploitation.

Hill herself has acknowledged both aspects of her case, previously saying she knew “even a consensual relationship with a subordinate is inappropriate,” while vowing Sunday to mount a legal fight regarding the leak of intimate photos. She has accused her “abusive husband,” with whom she is undergoing a contentious divorce, of engaging in a “smear campaign built around cyber exploitation,” saying he enlisted “hateful political operatives” for help. The nude photos were published by the conservative site RedState.org and the Daily Mail.

“Having private photos of personal moments weaponized against me has been an appalling invasion of my privacy,” she said Sunday. “It’s also illegal, and we are currently pursuing all of our available legal options.”

Hill followed up with a video blaming “right wing media” for the “horrible smear campaign,” and insisted she will fight on:

Narrator: It was in fact over.

For the rest of us, “currently pursuing all our available legal options” sounds like a brave face to put on an untenable position. She can sue her husband for passing these pictures around, but it’s not clear when that happened and whether it wasn’t consensual. Both RedState and the Daily Mail noted that nude pictures of Hill had been posted to Reddit in the past, at a point in time long before she and her husband split up. In fact, the screen grabs show the postings going back to 2016, two years before Hill got elected to Congress. It’s possible that Hill wasn’t fully aware of what her husband was publishing and never consented to it, but since they were together at the time and for a couple of years afterward, “revenge porn” might not be the best defense on some of these images.

For some of them, though, especially those with her face in them, it might be an argument — if she can establish that her husband was actually the source, and that these pictures had not been published beforehand. It’s not the first time that the issue has personally impacted a member of Congress, or other American politicians. Eric Greitens resigned as governor of Missouri after a tape emerged of him threatening to publish nude photos of a former paramour if she spoke out against him. Last year, an Illinois state representative resigned for actually posting revenge porn on Instagram. And despite the initial coverage, Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) was victimized in a similar manner as Hill in 2017.

There is one significant difference in this case, at least in the decision to publish the one photo that showed Hill with her staffer. [Full disclosure: It was our sister site RedState that first published it.] That relationship violated House rules passed to deal with an avalanche of complaints about sexual harassment and pressure that erupted in the #MeToo moment. That makes the one photo a legitimate news story that outstrips the prurient nature of the other photos, including those previously published on Reddit. The Washington Post argues that this was a “consensual relationship,” but the rule was put in place because of the fraught nature of consent in the obvious power disparity of an employer/employee relationship. Sexual harassment activists insist that informed consent is practically impossible in such situations, and while that may be an overstatement, prohibiting such relationships is a good business practice for that and other reasons as well, especially unit morale.

If Hill wants to crusade against revenge porn and hold her husband accountable for whatever alleged violations he committed, good for her. It’s a scourge for its victims and should carry significant penalties for those who traffic such images without full consent. However, “revenge porn” — if it was that at all — was only at best the mechanism for Hill’s downfall. Hill made the decision to have a sexual affair with her subordinate in clear violation of House rules, and was at least a willing participant in the photos that documented that violation, if not their release. That’s why she finds herself on her way out of the House, not “right wing media” — with Nancy Pelosi’s boot right behind her.