Hill’s mistake was not simply having an affair, especially in this case when the relationship seems to have been consensual and even something her husband was aware of and participated in. But the California Democrat’s choice to start and continue a relationship with a young staffer on her congressional campaign happened at the very time that other women on Capitol Hill were fighting to protect staffers long subjected to sexual harassment by their bosses there.
After the yearslong battle to end rampant harassment and abuse in Congress, there was no way Hill could stay on in a chamber that has promised to change its ways. The fact that the woman in Hill’s case was a staffer on a campaign, rather than a D.C. office, is a distinction without a difference. A sexual relationship with any staffer is unacceptable. Katie Hill had to go.
It’s crucial here to remember where the Capitol Hill community was in terms of harassment protections just two years ago.