President Donald Trump on Friday claimed that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., “broke the law” when she ripped up her copy of his State of the Union speech Tuesday night.
“I thought it was a terrible thing when she ripped up the speech,” Trump said to reporters on Friday, according to the Washington Examiner. “First of all, it’s an official document. You’re not allowed. It’s illegal what she did. She broke the law, but I haven’t been asked a question other than a lot of people that viewed it, they couldn’t believe that she did it. I thought it was terrible, I thought it was very disrespectful to the chamber, to the country.”
However, legal experts disagree with Trump, saying that the Presidential Records Act does not protect “printouts or widely circulated documents” like copies of a speech, Heidi Kitrosser, a law professor at the University of Minnesota, told USA Today.
"The president’s copy is a presidential record, but if the president gives a copy of it to a member of Congress, that copy is no longer a presidential record and becomes a record of that member of Congress," added Douglas Cox, a law professor at City University of New York.
"Because Speaker Pelosi’s copy is not a government record, she did not violate the law by ripping it up," he said.
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