News & Politics

GOP Congressman in Nude Selfie Scandal Threatened to Report Woman to Capitol Police

The representative can be heard making the comments on a recording.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

A Washington Post report reveals that Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) threatened a woman who possessed his illicit nude photos by saying he would report her to the Capitol police if she told others about their interaction.

Barton reportedly became upset when he discovered the woman—with whom he was having an affair—was in contact with other women who had relationships with him and had apparently shared explicit materials he'd sent her.

The Post obtained a recorded conversation between Barton and the woman, in which he says, "I want your word that this ends." 

"I will be completely straight with you," he continued. "I am ready if I have to, I don’t want to, but I should take all this crap to the Capitol Hill Police and have them launch an investigation. And if I do that, that hurts me potentially big-time.”

When the woman asked him to explain what he meant by the threat, he said:

“I would tell them that I had a three-year undercover relationship with you over the Internet that was heavily sexual and that I had met you twice while married and had sex with you on two different occasions and that I exchanged inappropriate photographs and videos with you that I wouldn’t like to be seen made public, that you still apparently had all of those and were in position to use them in a way that would negatively affect my career."

In Barton's version of events, it was the woman who threatened to share embarrassing photos after he'd ended their relationship.

"When I ended that relationship, she threatened to publicly share my private photographs and intimate correspondence in retaliation," he said. "As the transcript reflects, I offered to take the matter to the Capitol Hill Police to open an investigation. Today, the Capitol Police reached out to me and offered to launch an investigation and I have accepted. Because of the pending investigation, we will have no further comment.”

There is a chance the posted photo violates a Texas revenge porn law, but the identity of the uploader is not yet publicly known. The woman Barton threatened told the Postshe had never had any intentions of sharing the materials she'd received from Barton.

Chris Sosa is a managing editor at AlterNet. His work also appears in Mic, Salon, Care2, Huffington Post and other publications. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisSosa.

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