Some critics of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) are arguing that she could be in legal trouble over a political stunt she pulled earlier this year.
According to Just the News, two Republican lawmakers are asking the Department of Justice to look into whether she violated the law by ripping apart her copy of President Donald Trump’s speech immediately after he delivered his State of the Union address.
“I tore it up”
Pelosi’s move in February was met with some partisan praise by fellow Democrats but struck many on the other side of the aisle as childish and disrespectful.
The defiant speaker stood up after Trump concluded his remarks and tore apart her printed copy of the address.
“It was the courteous thing to do considering the alternatives,” she later said of the controversy. “I tore it up. I was trying to find one page with truth on it — I couldn’t.”
Not only do her detractors say the move was anything but “courteous,” U.S. Reps. Gary Palmer (R-AL) and Mike Johnson (R-LA), the chairmen of the GOP policy and study committees, respectively, said it might have been illegal.
They implored U.S. Attorney General William Barr to investigate whether “Pelosi committed a criminal act by destroying an official copy of the State of the Union speech delivered to her” by the president.
“Nancy Pelosi’s famous tantrum on the House floor was more than disgraceful; she violated her responsibility to preserve official documents delivered to the House of Representatives,” Palmer argued in a statement.
Calling it a “scandalous outburst,” he said the act warranted investigation “not simply because it offended every American, but because it set a precedent for radical politicians to hijack state events for partisan performance art and possibly break the law with, thus far, no consequence.”
Of course, the congressmen were not the first to cite U.S. Code 18 Section 2071 in connection with Pelosi’s act.
The law makes it a crime to destroy or mutilate “any record, proceeding, map, book, paper, document, or other thing, filed or deposited with any clerk or officer of any court of the United States, or in any public office, or with any judicial or public officer of the United States.”
Pelosi’s defenders say the copy she ripped was personal and does not qualify as an official government document. Nevertheless, rehashing this controversial episode with just weeks left until Election Day is probably not a good look for Democrats.