In the five months spanning September 2014 to January 2015, something unusual happened in American politics. Three state House Speakers -- ostensibly some of the most powerful officials in their respective state governments -- were each charged
with serious crimes.
In Missouri, Republican state House Speaker John Diehl hasn't been formally accused of criminal behavior, but the Kansas City Star
has a report
that certainly puts his career in jeopardy.
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.
The young woman in this relationship is not named, and according to the report, she has hired an attorney "specializing in employment matters." Though she told the local paper the text messages were not real, the Kansas City Star confirmed with sources close to her that she had an ongoing relationship with Diehl. Screenshots of the salacious texts "originated from the intern's smartphone" and were sent to Diehl's business cellphone number.
As for the messages themselves, they're below, though I should warn readers in advance they're a bit racy.
One of the alleged exchanges:
Diehl: God I want you right now. Intern: I wish you could have me right now. Diehl: Damn. We need lot of time and s quiet room. Intern: That sounds amazing. Diehl: Will have my way with you. Intern: Soon enough. Diehl: And leave you quivering.
In another apparent exchange, the state House Speaker texted the intern, "God I want you right now." She responded, "I wish you could have me right now."
Diehl is married and has three sons.
: Wonkette's Kaili Joy Gray takes a closer look
at the hypocrisy angle, highlighting the GOP lawmaker's work on "preserving traditional marriage," and protecting marriage against same-sex couples. Diehl endorsed a legal brief insisting the people of Missouri have "drawn a line between man-woman couples and all other types of relationships." Right Wing Watch added
that the Republican Speaker is also a favorite of religious-right groups, who see him as an important ally.