Ocasio-Cortez: 'Major crime' against Katie Hill will deter other female candidates

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezSanders to join youth climate strikers in Iowa Al Green calls for including Trump's 'racism' in impeachment articles Progressives' campaign strategy: Willful ignorance MORE (D-N.Y.) says fellow freshman Rep. Katie HillKatherine (Katie) Lauren HillYoung Turks founder: Past remarks on women were attempt 'to be a stupid, politically incorrect Republican' Feinstein endorses Christy Smith for Katie Hill's former House seat Democrat seeking Katie Hill's former seat nabs endorsement from firefighters association MORE (D-Calif.), who is resigning her seat citing a series of explicit photographs published in conservative outlets, was the victim of a "major crime" that could deter other young women from running for office.

Hill is the subject of an ethics investigation into allegations of an affair with a staffer in her congressional office, but she specifically cited the photographs, the release of which she attributes to her estranged husband, in her resignation announcement. She has denied the affair but conceded a relationship with a campaign staffer, which does not violate House rules.

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“I don't think we’re really talking about how targeted and serious this is. We're talking about a major crime ... being committed against her,” Ocasio-Cortez told Politico, saying “of course” the incident will intimidate other women thinking of launching their own campaigns.

“This doesn't happen to male members in the same way — revenge porn in this respect. It’s horrific,” Ocasio-Cortez added.

So-called revenge porn is illegal in both Washington and California, and Hill has suggested her husband is prepared to release hundreds more photographs of her.

GOP Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzThree legal scholars say Trump should be impeached; one thinks otherwise George Conway calls out Melania Trump after she criticizes impeachment witness: 'You're amplifying what was a nothingburger reference' Impeachment witness apologizes for mentioning Barron Trump in hearing MORE (Fla.), who has repeatedly defended Hill amid the fallout from the pictures, said older members of Congress did not understand how many of their younger colleagues could have similar moments used against them.

“A lot of these baby boomers I serve with don’t understand that millennials, by virtue of having smartphones, have shared stupid moments and regrettable moments for a substantial portion of their lives,” Gaetz told Politico.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump's legal team huddles with Senate Republicans On The Money: Falling impeachment support raises pressure for Dems on trade | Trump escalates fight over tech tax | Biden eyes minimum tax for corporations | Fed's top regulator under pressure over Dodd-Frank rules Overnight Health Care — Presented by Johnson & Johnson — Virginia moves to suspend Medicaid work rules | Powerful House panel sets 'Medicare for All' hearing | Hospitals sue over Trump price rule | FDA official grilled on vaping policy MORE (D-Calif.), asked in a Thursday press conference whether Hill should have resigned, said, “Katie Hill’s decision to resign is her decision,” but added “she is an absolutely outstanding young public servant.”

Pelosi was less sympathetic in a private leadership meeting, saying “it goes to show you, we should say to young candidates, and to kids in kindergarten, really, be careful when transmitting photos," according to Politico, citing two Democratic sources with knowledge of the meeting.