The House Committee on Ethics has launched its second probe in a week involving a freshman Democrat accused of having a sexual relationship with a congressional aide.
On Thursday, the Chairman and Ranking member announced an investigation has begun into allegations that Democratic Delegate Michael San Nicolas of Guam — a non-voting member of the lower chamber — had an affair with a staffer. Just the day before, the Committee announced it had started an investigation into Rep. Katie Hill (D-Calif.), over claims that she had an intimate relationship with her legislative director.
What are the details?
In a statement announcing the investigation of Del. San Nicolas, Chairman Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) and ranking member Kenny Marchant (R-Texas) wrote: "The Committee is aware of public allegations that Delegate Michael F. Q. San Nicolas may have engaged in a sexual relationship with an individual on his congressional staff, converted campaign funds to personal use, and/or accepted improper or excessive campaign contributions."
According to Pacific Daily News, San Nicolas' former chief of staff and congressional campaign manager, John Paul Manuel, publicly accused his former boss of "using federal campaign funds to facilitate an extramarital affair."
Manuel made his disclosure by writing it on San Nicolas' Facebook page, saying the representative carried on a five-year affair with a campaign aide, and later hired the same alleged "mistress" to serve on his congressional staff. "I never wanted it to be my business but he literally made it my job," Manuel wrote of San Nicolas. "It was literally at one point 50 percent of my tasks. They had a whole other second life with each other for years."
In an interview with The Guam Daily Post, San Nicolas taunted his accuser, saying, "There comes a time and place where we are not going to be entertaining things unless there is a legal basis to be entertaining it. So, if anybody thinks that I am having an extramarital affair with a staffer, and that's against the rules, then file the complaint."
San Nicolas went on to tell the newspaper he would not speak about his personal life "unless someone is going to be balls enough to step up to the plate and make an accusation on the record."
The Washington Times noted that both San Nicolas and Hill are accused of breaking a new rule passed just last year, "against office romance that the House adopted as part of its response to the #MeToo movement, aiming to protect congressional staff from predatory bosses."
Hill has repeatedly denied having an affair with her congressional legislative director, but admitted to carrying on a polyamorous "throuple" relationship with her now-estranged husband and a campaign aid.
San Nicolas has not yet addressed the specific allegations made against him by Manuel.