While talking to reporters President Trump blasted Democrat Nancy Pelosi for ripping up her copy of President Trump’s State of the Union speech.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “I thought it was a terrible thing when she ripped up the speech. First of all, it’s an official document. You’re not allowed. It’s illegal what she did. She broke the law.”pic.twitter.com/ubhpuEWIAD
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) February 7, 2020
Legal experts say no laws were broken. They said it was not an original government document, but Pelosi’s copy of the speech.
Steven Aftergood, a records expert at the private Federation of American Scientists, said: “Legally, this is a non-issue. Pelosi was expressing contempt for the president’s speech, and her views are constitutionally protected.” He said her torn-up pieces of the speech might themselves be considered a new record of historical value.
Laurence Tribe, a constitutional law professor at Harvard University, said Pelosi did not violate 18 U.S. Code Section 2071, the federal law defining the deliberate destruction of an official record that has been filed with a court or other government agency — a felony punishable by a prison term and by forfeiture of office.
Heidi Kitrosser, a law professor at the University of Minnesota, said: “This is not an archival document. … This is one of many, many, many copies of President Trump’s speech and Nancy Pelosi is free to do with it whatever she will.” Kitrosser added that any disagreement with Trump’s speech is protected by the First Amendment “and in Pelosi’s case, under the speech and debate clause of the Constitution.”
There are a few things to look at here. The first is how they define a government document. They claim that since it wasn’t Trump’s copy then it doesn’t matter what happens to it. However, in the same breath, they claim that this might become a historical document since it was ripped.
The second thing is the fact they cite Laurence Tribe. Tribe is a Trump hater and a complete fraud. He should not be considered an objective source when discussing anything having to do with Trump.
It is unclear whether this is illegal or not. Either way, Trump certainly thinks it was.
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