- The Washington Times
Friday, July 15, 2022

The president of the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation filed an ethics complaint over a prominent Democrat, accusing the congresswoman of damaging the reputation of a gun rights researcher.

Kevin Roberts, president of the organization, said parts of California Rep. Katie Porter’s line of questioning in a June 8 Oversight Committee hearing should be retracted over her alleged intentions to defame a GOP witness.

“I would love for the committee to reprimand the representative for doing what she did,” Mr. Roberts told Fox News Digital. “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.”

The exchange referred to involves Ms. Porter accusing Heritage legal fellow Amy Swearer of falsely testifying under oath in a past hearing about Democratic-led bills on curbing gun access.

Ms. Porter took issue with perceived mischaracterizations Ms. Swearer made about a bill that would ban assault weapons introduced by Rep. David Cicilline, Rhode Island Democrat.

In a 2019 hearing exchange with Rep. Jim Jordan, Ohio Republican, Ms. Swearer dubbed that Mr. Cicilline’s bill would make “millions of otherwise law-abiding citizens become felons overnight,” despite the legislation grandfathering in provisions to allow gun owners to keep the weapons they already had.

“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,” Ms. Porter said.

The congresswoman, who is vice chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, later accused Ms. Swearer of perjury and asked her how dare she misstate the proposed law.

Ms. Porter later posted her exchange with Ms. Swearer on social media, doubling down on her accusations and accusing special interest groups of “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,” Ms. Porter said. “I called out her BS.”

The debacle comes after Congress passed some of the most consequential gun reforms in decades, including expanding background checks.

This week, the House also passed a bill that would create an Amber alert-style alarm system for mass shootings across the country.

More than 40 Republicans joined the Democratic majority to greenlight the proposal, sending it to the Senate.

• Mica Soellner can be reached at msoellner@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times, LLC.