The writer behind the publications that leaked nude photos of former Representative Katie Hill is a longtime conservative consultant who worked for Republican politicians that ran against Hill, reports Mediaite.
Jennifer Van Laar, deputy managing editor at RedState.com and writer for the Daily Mail, posted the allegations about Hill accompanied by nude photos of the former representative. When Hill resigned, Van Laar was online urging support for Republican candidates to win the seat.
Like its name suggests, RedState.com leans conservative, so Van Laar’s support of Republican candidates is no surprise. Her reporting of Hill and connections to Hill’s political opponents, though, have revealed interesting overlaps and questions about transparency.
Reporting from Van Laar about the former congresswoman led to Hill admitting to an affair with a female campaign staffer and eventually resigning. Since Hill is going through a contentious divorce and her husband was shopping the “scandal” around to news outlets, many have come to the conclusion that Van Laar got her information and illicit photos from him.
Because of this, cries of “revenge porn” have surfaced online, especially on Twitter.
California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law SB 255, or the “Revenge Porn” bill, on October 1, 2013. The law makes it a crime to post sexually explicit pictures or video online of another person without his or her permission with the intention of causing emotional distress or publicly humiliating the subject.
In addition to being a managing editor at RedState, Van Laar also runs a Republican consulting and opposition research firm involved in California races.
She worked for former Representative Steve Knight, the Republican incumbent who was unseated by Hill in 2018. She also worked for Santa Clarita GOP assembly seat candidate Suzette Valladares as her campaign manager. Valladares announced she was going to challenge Hill’s seat in 2020 but dropped out to join the local race in September.
Van Laar published the breaking story and accompanying photos at RedState and the Daily Mail without any disclosures about her work with Republican opponents of the congresswoman.
Van Laar appeared on Tucker Carlson’s show on Wednesday, where he asked if Hill is planning to sue her.
“I hope not, we haven’t received any kind of indication from attorneys that she would,” she said.
Carlson also asked what her response was to Hill blaming RedState and by association, Van Laar, for what had happened.
“Obviously she’s in a bad place right now so I don’t want respond in kind, but of course I didn’t like being smeared as some kind of revenge porn peddler or vast right-wing conspiracy because that’s just simply not what happened,” she said.
“I know an awful lot of people on the right, and if any one of them were ever photographed naked smoking a bong with an Iron Cross tattoo in their crotch, you would be on the cover of Newsweek,” said Carlson with a laugh.