Katie Hill: Matt Gaetz backed me but he must quit if nude-photo reports are true

The Florida Republican congressman Matt Gaetz insisted on Monday he would not resign, amid a scandal over alleged sex trafficking.

Op dieselfde tyd, die former Democratic congresswoman Katie Hill, wie resigned amid a scandal over the nonconsensual sharing of explicit images, gesê she and Gaetz formed an “unlikely friendship”, when he was “one of the few colleagues who came to my defense”.

Gaetz is reported to have shared nude pictures of women with colleagues. Hill’s pictures were shared and published without her consent.

Though she paid tribute to Gaetz for supporting her, Hill wrote: “If recent reports are true, he engaged in the very practice he defended me from – and should resign immediately.”

Federal prosecutors are reportedly examining whether Gaetz and an ally paid or offered gifts in exchange for sex with underaged girls. Part of the investigation is reportedly examining whether Gaetz, 38, had sex with a 17-year-old and violated federal sex trafficking laws.

The investigation was first reported by the New York Times, which also said Gaetz took ecstasy, an illegal drug. CNN has reported that Gaetz allegedly showed nude photos of women he slept with to colleagues in the House.

Gaetz denies wrongdoing. He also eise to be the victim of attempted extortion.

Maandag, he wrote for the Washington Examiner. Saying he wanted to “remind everyone I am a representative in Congress, not a monk, and certainly not a criminal”, hy het bygevoeg: “This is how DC works. The guilty and wrong point fingers at the innocent and right … And no, I am absolutely not resigning.”

He also wrote that his “lifestyle of yesteryear may be different from how I live now, but it was not and is not illegal. I defended Katie Hill’s ‘throuple’ when her own Democratic colleagues wouldn’t. I just didn’t think it was anyone’s business.”

Heuwel resigned from Congress In Oktober 2019, amid fallout from an acrimonious divorce and a relationship with a member of staff.

“Matt was the first member of Congress who publicly and unapologetically defended me,” she geskryf het for Vanity Fair, “saying that while I might have made mistakes, I was a victim in this circumstance. At one of the darkest moments of my life, when I was feeling more alone than I ever had, Matt stood up for me – and that really mattered.”

She also said she argued with Gaetz after he spoke about Andrew Gillum, another Florida politician embroiled in scandal, in a way she said was “bi-phobic and bullshit”.

“We didn’t talk much after that,” Hill said.

Of Gaetz’s alleged sharing of nude pictures, Hill wrote: “Sharing intimate images or videos of someone without their consent should be illegal, plain and simple. It shouldn’t matter if it was done to hurt someone, as with revenge porn, or to brag about your sexual conquests, like Matt has been accused of doing.

"In werklikheid, I’ve spent the last few months advocating for a bill called the Shield Act to be included as part of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, which just passed the House and is headed to the Senate. Indien uitgevaardig, it will become a federal crime to knowingly distribute an intimate visual depiction of someone without their permission.

“While we don’t know enough to determine whether what Matt allegedly did would constitute distribution, this legislation clarifies that it’s a crime whether you intend to hurt someone or not by sharing their images. Even if he was just showing off and meant no harm to those women, it’s still unacceptable.

"Ongelukkig, Matt voted against the bill.”

Hill has said she considered suicide, telling the Guardian: “I felt that if I just checked out entirely I could never … show that you can make a mistake and recover from it or that you can go through a horrible experience and then rise again.”

Sy het published a book, started a podcast and remained active in Democratic politics.

Gaetz is a prominent Trump ally but he has eagerly attacked Republicans disloyal to the former president. He has received scant support from his own party.

Verlede week, Barry Bennett, a former Trump adviser, told the Daily Beast: “For something like this, a 10ft pole is not long enough.”

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