‘How dare you!’ House Dem faces ethics complaint for allegedly ‘knowingly and intentionally defaming’ expert in hearing

Republicans are pushing back hard against liberal bullying tactics, this time in the form of an ethics complaint filed by Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts against Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) for allegedly “knowingly and intentionally defaming” a Heritage Second Amendment expert during a recent House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on America’s “gun violence epidemic.”

The complaint was filed with the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) and sent to OCE Chairman Mike Barnes on Wednesday after Porter accused Amy Swearer of lying under oath during a 2019 hearing about the dangers of so-called “assault weapons,” according to Fox News Digital, who reviewed the complaint.


At the heart of the issue is an exchange Swearer had with Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) in 2019.

Questioning Swearer about “guns Democrats want to ban,” Jordan asked, “Do you think law-abiding people will be less safe to protect themselves, their family, their property, if this law that the Democrats are proposing actually happens, or this bill that the Democrats are proposing actually becomes law?”

“I think it’s worse than that, sir,” Swearer replied. “You will see millions of otherwise law-abiding citizens become felons overnight for nothing more than having scary-looking features on firearms.”

In a recent op-ed, Swearer wrote that Jordan asked “a series of general questions about” the gun features Dems were hoping to ban. Swearer noted that Jordan did not reference “any particular bill or bills by name” in his question about the ability of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves.

“But at the time of the hearing,” Fox News reports, “Democratic Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline had introduced a bill with a grandfather provision that would allow gun owners to retain firearms they already owned.”

Years later, during the June hearing, Porter accused Swearer of lying under oath about Cicilline’s bill.

“So you knew that the bill would allow any gun owner to maintain possession of any semi-automatic assault weapon that was lawfully possessed before the bill became law,” Porter charged.

Later, the California Dem twice told Swearer “you falsely testified under oath.”

The exchange became heated, with Porter talking over Swearer’s attempts to answer Porter’s claims, at one point prompting Swearer to proclaim, “How dare you!”

“How dare you misstate the law,” Porter shot back.

“How dare you ask questions you don’t even want answers to,” Swearer replied.

The grilling was ugly enough that Roberts felt he needed to file the complaint.

“I would love for the committee to reprimand the representative for doing what she did,” he told Fox News Digital in a Wednesday phone interview. “I think at the very least there needs to be an apology. There needs to be a… retraction in the official record of that exchange. Because Amy, who does not complain about things, has just been assailed… by the left and her reputation has been maligned.”

Roberts called the exchange “premeditated,” noting that Porter shared a clip of it on social media which received hundreds of thousands of views.

“In addition to making a false perjury claim about whose integrity is impeccable, that’s Amy, and therefore calling into question the entire credibility of Heritage, this is premeditated,” Roberts said. “And we know that because the representative immediately went to Twitter and other social media platforms and doubled and tripled down.”

Along with the clip of the exchange, Porter stated, “Special interests are lying to the American people to block gun violence prevention legislation. The same witness who misled Congress in 2019 is back today to advocate against sensible measures that would keep Americans safe. I called out her BS.”

Roberts wants the “misled Congress” comment “retracted” as well, claiming it maligns “Amy’s reputation and the reputation of Heritage.”

“We don’t mind a policy disagreement,” he said. “We rather like that, and we respect that Representative Porter and we have different opinions about the policy.”

The problem, says Roberts, is that the exchange was “politicized” and the “criminal accusation was done falsely and for those political purposes.”

That, Roberts says, he and Heritage members “don’t appreciate.”

“[Porter is] clearly using it, I think literally, to raise money,” Roberts said. “And it’s such an affront to how we do business. We decided we weren’t going to lay down. And we’re going to call out the reprehensible behavior.”

In response to the ethics complaint, Porter’s office is apparently playing the semantics game, claiming Porter’s repeated statements that Swearer “falsely testified under oath” is not the same as claiming Swearer was guilty of perjury because a perjury claim “requires intent and which Rep. Porter did not allege.”

On Twitter, the Heritage Foundation asked, “What does @RepKatiePorter think perjury is?”

“Like Mr. Roberts, Congresswoman Porter believes that policy debates are part of healthy democracy,” Porter spokesperson Jordan Wong said. “To have those debates, we must have shared facts. And the facts here are clear: Ms. Swearer’s claim that gun violence prevention legislation would make Americans ‘become felons overnight’ is misleading and unsubstantiated. She should not have given that testimony, under oath, to Congress.”

Roberts isn’t backing down.

“Members of Congress like Katie Porter need to be reminded of whom they serve,” he tweeted, “and put back in their place when they overstep.”


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