Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) announced Wednesday night that he is filing charges in the House Ethics Committee against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) after she ripped up a copy of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address Tuesday night. During an interview with Fox news host Laura Ingraham, Gaetz argued that Pelosi has “impulse control problems” and should be held accountable.
“She disgraced the House of Representatives, she embarrassed our country, and she destroyed official records,” Gaetz told Ingraham. “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.”
Gaetz added that Republicans are sick of the media “double standard” that is applied only to Republicans.
“When Joe Wilson made a comment—an excited utterance—the Democrats really brought the heat down on him when he said ‘you lie’ about illegals getting healthcare under Obamacare,” Gaetz argued.
“We ought to apply the same standards to the Democrats they want to apply to us,” the congressman explained.
Gaetz promised that there would be an ethics investigation of Rep. Pelosi and that it could result in the Speaker getting censured.
“The first act begins tomorrow when Congressman Zeldin [R-N.Y.] and I will join Kay Granger [R-Texas] in a censure resolution and we will force a vote on that resolution,” he said.
The Florida congressman said that Pelosi is “not stupid but she has some real impulse control problems.”
“She is the first Speaker of the House of Representatives to have her words taken down by the House of Representatives,” he noted. “But this latest attempt embarrassed the House of Representatives in front of the world,” Gaetz continued. “The world was watching the president. He gave an inspirational, fantastic speech, and for her to have a temper tantrum—we don’t allow that in the House of Representatives! And Nancy Pelosi is not above the rules of the House just because she’s the Speaker of the House.”
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) February 6, 2020
On Twitter Tuesday night, Gaetz wrote: “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.”
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
In the 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.”
The congressman 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 wrote that Pelosi may have 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.
Earlier Wednesday, Rep. Paul Gossar (R-Ariz.) also vowed to introduce a resolution to censure and condemn Pelosi for her disgraceful antics at the SOTU.
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
House Democrats blocked Gaetz’s resolution Thursday, tabling the motion by a vote of 224-193 along party lines.