The Southern California Democrat, a law professor and consumer protection attorney who narrowly flipped her district from red to blue in last year’s midterm elections, is the state’s first freshman House member to join the chorus of lawmakers who vocally support an impeachment inquiry.
In a video posted Monday to social media, Porter said she campaigned not on impeaching Trump but on issues like lowering prescription drug costs and providing affordable housing in her Orange County district. But she added that her decision to support an impeachment inquiry aligns with the values she campaigned on.
“When faced with a crisis of this magnitude, I cannot with a clean conscience ignore my duty to defend the Constitution,” said Porter, who made headlines this year for schooling Wall Street executives. “I can’t claim to be committed to rooting out corruption and putting people over politics and then not apply those same principles and standards in all of the work I do.”
In her video, Porter acknowledged the political strain of her position as a Democrat whose congressional seat is considered at risk of being taken back by Republicans. But the freshman congresswoman said that Trump’s refusal to comply with lawmakers’ investigations after former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report has brought the United States to “a crisis.”
“The administration has refused to respect the rule of law. They have ignored multiple subpoenas; they’ve directed current and former high-ranking officials to disregard summons to testify; and the president has continued his efforts to spread mistrust of our law enforcement, contempt for our journalists, and false information about the law, director Mueller’s findings, and basic, uncontested facts,” Porter said. “The question is not whether a crisis is in our midst, but rather whether we choose to fight against it.”
The announcement conflicts with the position taken by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ― also a California Democrat ― who’s been vocal in her opposition to proceeding with an impeachment inquiry. But Porter’s support despite her district’s endangerment could mean a shift in lawmakers who demand launching an inquiry to potentially remove Trump from office.
Sixty-seven members of the House, or about a fourth of the caucus, have called for an impeachment inquiry of Trump, according to The New York Times. The vast majority are from Democrats in safely liberal districts, though Porter is joined by fellow freshman Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.) in calling for an inquiry while serving a swing district.