Democratic California Senate candidate to skip Biden visit to state amid classified document investigation

Rep. Katie Porter of California, who recently announced her run for U.S. Senate, will not be meeting with President Biden on Thursday as he arrives to survey the areas devastated by severe weather.

Biden will be visiting California’s central coastal region this week to meet with local officials and emergency responders. 

The area has been ravaged by weeks of heavy precipitation which has caused flooding, landslides and deaths. 

Asked by reporters after a town hall on Tuesday whether she will be meeting up with the president, Porter said she would instead be in Orange County.

‘With regard to the president, I’m going to be back home in Orange County on Thursday,’ Porter said. 

She continued, ‘I’m back home in Orange County on Thursday doing some work in my district. But I was thrilled to have President Biden come out in October. We had a terrific visit.’

Porter, at the same town hall, was asked about her role in the House Oversight Committee and the ongoing investigation into Biden’s illicit storage of classified documents at his private residence, inside his garage, and in the office of his think tank.

‘So I definitely think that we want to get answers from the White House,’ Porter said. 

Porter, however, wouldn’t say if she will sign on to a request from Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer for records related to the classified documents.

‘I don’t know if that document request – I have not reviewed the line by line of the request that Chairman [James] Comer made – but I definitely think we want answers. Classified documents belong in classified settings, and I think you heard me say oversight is not a partisan thing. Good oversight means you’re willing to hold any rule breaker to account.’

Porter has also announced she will be running for U.S. Senate in California in 2024 despite no indication from incumbent Sen. Dianne Feinstein that she plans to step down.

‘I don’t know what Sen. Feinstein will decide to do, and I have tremendous respect for her making her own decision in her own time,’ Porter said Tuesday. ‘And that’s exactly what I’ve done, is make my own decision in my own time. So I don’t know when she’ll make a decision or what her decision will be. But I think we should let her make it.’

At one point in the town hall, Porter was asked about the role of diversity and racial representation in the Senate.

‘We need more Black women in the Senate. We need more Latina women in the Senate. We need more AAPI women in the Senate. We need indigenous people in the Senate. We need a more diverse representation, a landscape that’s absolutely clear,’ said Porter, who is White. 

She continued, ‘And the Senate, as well as the House, needs to do that work. But I think every candidate needs to make their own choice about whether to enter this race, what they’re going to fight for, whose voices they’re going to lift up. And I’m really excited about having launched my campaign.’

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