The Kansas City Star’s Jason Hancock has published a story about InternGate. See it here.
Pull Quote: Text messages obtained by The Star reveal a sexually charged relationship between House Speaker John Diehl and a college freshman in a Missouri Capitol internship program that shut down abruptly last month. The conversations unveil a flirty rapport and suggest an intimacy between arguably the state’s most influential lawmaker and a young woman taking some pleasure in a secret association. The texts show occasional efforts by Diehl and the intern to meet in person. They range from mundane chatter, about boring meetings and dreading speeches, to the more sexually suggestive. Diehl declined to comment. The intern, who has hired an attorney specializing in employment matters, told The Star that the text messages were not real. Meantime, she has told confidants that she had an ongoing relationship with Diehl.
Multiple sources helped The Star confirm that the screenshots of the texts, which show Diehl’s business cellphone number, originated from the intern’s smartphone. The text conversations also included photographs of each of them. And others who know Diehl well said they recognized the language and tone of the conversations from their own text exchanges with him.
Hancock’s story puts some meat on the bones of the rumors that have proliferated in the absence of an official explanation of Southern Missouri’s cancelation of their internship program.
With three days left in session, the impact on the session’s legislative agenda might be muted.
But there will be larger questions to come out of this including the behavior and the culture of the building which some have described as hostile to women – particularly younger women.