California Democrat Rep. Katie Porter reportedly slammed the Irvine Police Department after officers arrested a man she lives with for his alleged involvement in a fight that broke out at her town hall event last year.
Porter supporters and hecklers were involved in a physical altercation at her "Policy in the Park" event in Irvine, California, that made headlines in July 2021. Police had arrested a Porter supporter, La Jolla resident Julian Willis, after he allegedly punched one of the protesters and gave him a bloody nose.
But Fox News revealed Monday that the 51-year-old Willis lives with Porter, according to arrest and property records, and was given a citation for the assault.
The outlet also published screenshots of a text message conversation between Porter and Irvine Mayor Farrah Khan in which the congresswoman trashed the police.
"Your police department is a disgrace," Porter wrote to the mayor.
"I will never trust them again," she texted to Khan, who offered to discuss the incident over the phone.
A spokesman for Porter told Fox News the lawmaker "was upset that a planned family-friendly town hall was hijacked by extremists, who made constituents feel unsafe, including using hateful slurs in front of children."
"She was disappointed that despite our staff alerting police days before the event that the extremists were openly advertising their intention to disrupt the town hall, officers on the day of the incident were hundreds of feet away and did not intervene immediately when fighting broke out," Porter spokesman Jordan Wong said.
"Since then, Rep. Porter and our office have worked productively with the Irvine Police Department, including the Congresswoman hosting the new police chief in her office for a constructive and cooperative meeting," he added.
The hecklers at the July 2021 town hall were organized by Nick Taurus, a self-described "American nationalist and Roman Catholic," who said he was running against Porter in the upcoming midterm elections. He had called on his supporters to "confront Katie Porter" at her event, and the protesters who showed up shouted "Carpetbagger Katie!" and "Corrupt Katie Porter" as she spoke to the crowd.
According to the Los Angeles Times, some of Porter's supporters attempted to shout down the protesters before a scuffle broke out. Irvine police officers intervened to stop the fight and Willis was arrested.
Porter, a former law professor, was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018, becoming the first Democrat to represent traditionally Republican Orange County in Congress and winning reelection in 2020. Her district was redrawn after the 2020 census and now comprises western Orange County and east Los Angeles, giving Democrats an electoral edge for the seat in the November elections.
She has come under fire in recent weeks after Fox News reported that she made thousands of dollars in royalty fees from law school textbooks that she required her students to purchase for courses she taught. In 2017, Porter was paid $286,674 to teach two courses at the University of California, according to Transparent California.