Just after midday Wednesday, Jan. 6, two-thirds of the House of Representatives’ 211 Republican members gathered in the House chamber planning to object to the legitimacy of November’s election results.

Cornell Clayton.

Cornell Clayton, a professor of political science at Washington State University, said the congresswoman clearly knew the move carried political risk.

“There’s no question that she understands it’s going to upset some of her constituency,” Clayton said. “One of the roles of a representative is to represent the views and interests of your constituency, but another one … is to display principled leadership, even when your constituency wants to believe things that are not true.”

“There’s nothing wrong with the change of course,” Clayton said. “When the facts on the ground change, you should change your mind. The real problem was her original calculation, which I think was an opportunistic one, to go ahead and launch a challenge when she knew she was aiding and abetting a president who was engaged in an effort to overturn an American election.”

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