Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz went on Fox News on Wednesday night to announce he is filing an ethics complaint against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over her ripping up a copy of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech.
“She disgraced the House of Representatives, she embarrassed our country and she destroyed official records,” Gaetz said. “The law does not allow the speaker of the House to destroy the records of the House and the rules of the House do not permit some little temper tantrum just because you don’t like what the president of the United States says.”
Then he went on Twitter and shared the filing:
“BREAKING: I’m filing an ethics complaint against @SpeakerPelosi for destroying @realDonaldTrump’s State of the Union speech. Her conduct was beneath the dignity of the House, and a potential violation of law (18 USC 2071). Nobody is above the law. She must be held accountable.”
After Trump finished his speech Tuesday night, Pelosi stood on the dais behind him and tore up a copy of the speech he handed her earlier.
Claims circulated on Twitter suggesting Pelosi broke the law by destroying the document.
“Nancy Pelosi may have just committed a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2071, Section 2071 (a) when she ripped up President Trump’s State of the Union address,” Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk wrote in a Feb. 4 tweet. “This violation is punishable by up to three years in prison.”
A number of legal experts disputed Kirk’s claim.
“I take it that this is a printout of the Trump speech, in which case it is absurd to suggest that Pelosi can be prosecuted for doing with it whatever she pleases,” said Heidi Kitrosser, a law professor at the University of Minnesota.
Gaetz is a stalwart supporter of the president.