ORANGE COUNTY, CA — Congresswoman Katie Porter is no stranger to standing up for what she believes in. Known for wielding her whiteboard and dry erase marker, the Representative of the 45th District was in Congress and ready to do her work Wednesday when insurrectionists overran the Capitol Building. The incident is what Porter says is a "direct attack on our democracy incited by President Trump."
As the steps of the building flooded with protesters turned into an angry mob, chaos ensued.
"We have to call it what it was," she said in a recent news release. "Domestic terrorism."
Outside, tear gas was expended, elected officials wore gas masks, found under their seats. Porter and other members of Congress were ordered to shelter-in-place.
She, another Congressmember, and two staffers barricaded themselves in the House office building, she said.
"We barricaded in with a couch, turned off the lights, shut the curtains, and remained silent," Porter said. Coronavirus concerns and precautions saw they were the only ones inside that room for six hours.
At last, Porter and her counterparts emerged from the room, seeking Capitol Police.
No one had confirmed their whereabouts or safety, she says, adding, "we were safe, albeit shaken."
At last, it was time to rejoin her colleagues to certify Joe Biden's election early in the morning.
Still, her work is not done.
"Congress has serious work to do to provide the necessary accountability, so this doesn't happen again," Porter says.
As her constituents would expect, she has a plan.
First, the House Oversight Committee must conduct a full investigation of the violent, unlawful events of yesterday. The American people rightly have questions about how this happened, why government agencies failed to coordinate, and why Capitol Police wasn't adequately prepared and failed to secure the seat of our democracy. The Oversight Committee is the best forum to get those answers.
Second, the President must be removed from office. If a majority of the cabinet and two-thirds of Congress will not invoke the 25th Amendment, the House must proceed with articles of impeachment. President Trump is an imminent danger to our democracy.
On Thursday, Porter signed on as a cosponsor of the articles of impeachment, drafted by Reps. Ted Lieu, Raskin, and Cicilline.
"It would be a mistake to wait for the President-Elect's inauguration to put this behind us," she writes. "Our duty demands that we act today to provide accountability."
It would be a mistake to wait for the President-Elect’s inauguration in an effort to put this behind us. Our duty demands that we act today to provide accountability.Read my full statement on what happened at the Capitol yesterday: pic.twitter.com/vx0GAf6KId
— Rep. Katie Porter (@RepKatiePorter) January 7, 2021