Trump Breaks the Law by Ripping Up Official Papers All the Time

But he’s outraged that Pelosi did.

Alex Brandon/AP

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President Donald Trump’s campaign was quick to rebuke House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for ripping up her copy of the State of the Union address Tuesday night.

Charlie Kirk, the founder of the conservative group Turning Point USA, tweeted that Pelosi’s destruction of government records constitutes a violation of US Code punishable by up to three years in prison. 

But as it turns out, Trump rips up official papers all the time. As the New York Times reported Tuesday:

President Trump has long made it a practice to tear up his papers and throw them away. It is a clear violation of the Presidential Records Act, which is supposed to prevent another Watergate-style cover-up. When the National Archives sent staff members to tape these records together, the White House fired them.

As usual, the rules don’t seem to apply to Trump, who has famously boasted that the Constitution gives him, as president, the right to do whatever he wants—a lie the Senate will uphold if it votes to acquit him this afternoon.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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