Rep. Matt Gaetz filed an ethics complaint against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her stunt after President Trump concluded his State of the Union address.
The Florida Republican and outspoken Trump supporter has suggested that Pelosi may have violated House rules and even broken the law when she ripped her copy of the president’s speech on Tuesday.
(Source: Fox News)
“She disgraced the House of Representatives, she embarrassed our country and she destroyed official records,” Gaetz told Fox News host Laura Ingraham on Wednesday.
“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,” he added on “The Ingraham Angle.”
In his letter to the House Committee on Ethics, Gaetz said that Pelosi’s “gesture was deeply offensive and appears to violate clauses 1 and 2 of House Rule XXIII,” adding that her behavior “does not ‘reflect creditably on the House,’ nor does it follow “the spirit and the letter of the Rules of the House” and “certainly warrants censure.”
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
“There is no question that Speaker Pelosi ‘mutilated, obliterated, or destroyed’ the copy of the President’s address provided to her at the beginning of the evening,” Gaetz wrote, using language from the law in his letter.
Pelosi told reporters following Tuesday’s State of the Union address that she ripped the speech because it was “the courteous thing to do.” She was immediately condemned for disrespecting the president and the office. White House counselor Kellyanne Conway called out the Speaker for acting like an “incorrigible child” and also believed she should be censured.
Arguments that Pelosi acted in the heat of the moment and out of anger or frustration were soon confronted with footage from the night which appeared to show the petty act was premeditated.
Slow-motion SOTU footage and close-ups signal Pelosi’s speech-ripping stunt was premeditated https://t.co/0pcuxIIkYb
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) February 6, 2020
Gaetz told Ingraham that, along with Rep. Lee Zeldin of New York and Texas Rep. Kay Granger, they would “start the ball rolling” by introducing the censure resolution against Pelosi, adding that “we will force a vote on that resolution.”
Ingraham noted that there have been some “rumblings” that since Pelosi only tore a copy of the speech, it cannot be considered a violation. Zeldin, who was also a guest on the show, reiterated Gaetz’s point about the double standard of Democrats by pointing out what happened to South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson.
Wilson infamously yelled out “you lie!” during a joint address to congress by former President Barack Obama in 2009 as he was outlining his healthcare reform plan. The Republican apologized in a statement later after criticism from both sides of the political aisle over the disrespectful behavior. But the House later approved a “resolution of disapproval” against Wilson when he would not make a formal apology on the chamber floor.
Zeldin slammed the hypocrisy of Democrats and doubled down on Pelosi’s actions for “poisoning the House of Representatives and Congress and our country.”
Gaetz remarked that though Pelosi is “not stupid,” she does have “some impulse control problems.”
“For her to have a temper tantrum – we don’t allow that on the floor of the House,” he said. “And Nancy Pelosi is not above the rules of the House just because she is the Speaker of the House.”
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