Update: Original information in this story was not accurate. According to a fact check from Lead Stories, Pelosi does not face criminal charges or any jail time for tearing up the speech. We regret the error and have corrected it.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi knows the wagons are circling — and her days in office could soon be numbered.
Pelosi dominated the headlines following President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night after she, standing directly behind the president, ripped up his speech for all the world to see.
After throwing an anti-Trump temper tantrum for the world to see, Pelosi was just smacked with a criminal complaint that could result in her serving jail time if she is actually held accountable.
Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz filed a criminal complaint against Pelosi after she tore up an official copy of Trump’s address, which is a violation of the law given it’s an “official government document.”
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) wrote on Twitter: “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 the law (18 USC 2071). Nobody is above the law. She must be held accountable.”
In a letter addressed to Ethics Committee Chairman Ted Deutch (D-FL), Gaetz requested that the Committee open an investigation “into Speaker Pelosi’s flagrant violation of decorum, as defined in clauses 1 and 2 of House Rule XXIII, and request a criminal referral for her potential violation of 18 U.S.C. §2071 (Concealment, removal, or mutilation of documents), following President Trump’s recent State of the Union address of February 4, 2020. Her unseemly behavior certainly warrants censure.”
Later in the letter, Gaetz added: “It is hard to overlook the symbolism of such a gesture — the sense that Speaker Pelosi was utterly dismissive of the President’s achievements, and, more importantly, the achievements of the American people.”
Gaetz said that Pelosi potentially committed a crime by violating 18 U.S.C. §2071:
(a)Whoever willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, or destroys, or attempts to do so, or, with intent to do so takes and carries away 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, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
(b)Whoever, having the custody of any such record, proceeding, map, book, document, paper, or other thing, willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys the same, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both, and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States. As used in this subsection, the term “office” does not include the office held by any person as a retired officer of the Armed Forces of the United States.
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. pic.twitter.com/dXPPWQNtI8
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) February 6, 2020
Two other Republican lawmakers have also taken action against Pelosi for her stunt.
Texas Republican Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX) introduced a resolution hammering Pelosi for ripping up the document on national television, saying it was “a breach of decorum,” noting that it brought “discredit on the House.”
Today, I introduced a privileged resolution strongly disapproving @SpeakerPelosi’s appalling actions following President @realDonaldTrump’s #SOTU2020 address. Speaker Pelosi ripped up far more than a speech.
She is not the Speaker of the Democrats, but of the People’s House! pic.twitter.com/LXZNa0KvNY
— Rep. Kay Granger (@RepKayGranger) February 6, 2020
Arizona GOP Rep. Paul Gosar said he is introducing a resolution censuring Pelosi for her actions.
“In response to her classless outburst, I’ve decided to introduce a resolution to censure & condemn Speaker Pelosi,” Gosar tweeted Wednesday. “In a new low, she violated the Code of Official Conduct requiring Members ‘behave at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House.’”
In response to her classless outburst, I've decided to introduce a resolution to censure & condemn Speaker Pelosi.
In a new low, she violated the Code of Official Conduct requiring Members "behave at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House." pic.twitter.com/gvf6KWNpSM
— Rep. Paul Gosar, DDS (@RepGosar) February 5, 2020
To make matters worse for Pelosi, Senate voted on Wednesday to acquit Trump on both articles of impeachment.
Nancy could soon be saying good-bye to the gavel over her embarrassing anti-Trump stunt.