Rep. Duncan Hunter’s affairs with congressional staff raise sexual harassment concerns

Republican Party leaders have demurred on whether Rep. Duncan Huntershould resign in light of revelations that he pursued relationships with two congressional staffers, including one of his own aides.

But that does not mean allegations that the California Republican had “intimate relationships” — as U.S. attorneys described them in a recent court filing — with two staffers, including a direct subordinate, will not trigger consequences on Capitol Hill.

Hunter began a romantic relationship with one of his staffers not long after she joined his office in January 2015, according to the Justice Department. And he had a three-year relationship with an aide to another lawmaker in congressional Republican leadership after they met at the Republican National Convention in 2012.

The relationships were revealed Monday in a motion filed in federal court in San Diego in connection with Hunter’s upcoming trial on felony charges,  alleging he misused campaign funds for personal expenses.

Hunter dipped into campaign coffers to pay for drinks out, couples’ trips and Uber rides from the women’s homes to his congressional office, prosecutors say.

A third congressional staffer, Rory Riley-Topping, who at the time was an aide to the House Veterans Affairs’ Committee, told RT America on Wednesday that Hunter groped her while visibly intoxicated at an event in 2014.

Two friends of Riley-Topping said in interviews with Roll Call that she described the incident to them soon after it happened in 2014.

Riley-Topping’s husband said in a tweet that she told him about Hunter’s behavior the same night.

“We had the same discussion so many families have about whether reporting it would make any difference,” he said.

Source: Roll Call

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