The reminder was that only days before the State of the Union Address, following the Senate acquittal, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy not only ripped up the Articles of Impeachment, but proudly sent on a tweet of him doing so. No, this is not the same as the State of the Union Address, of course, but it is most certainly a government document of high importance. Which he ripped up for the camera.
I wasn’t completely sure if the reporter was commenting on fact about people who have the job of taping back up the torn documents or if it was what she’d been told by a source, so I looked it up. And it’s true. As this article in Politico (and other articles) note, the two men who were given this responsibility, as part of their larger jobs, are named Solomon Lartey and Reginald Young, Jr. And not only does Trump regularly rip up documents, but often into tiny pieces. And they all have to be re-taped to be preserved. The Politco article has blunt, on-the-record quotes from these two White House officials (with salaries were over $60,000 a year), both incredulous at this menial task, so extensive that it required staffs to help them, and who will willing to speak out because – and this will probably not come as a shock -- they have been terminated.
“I had a letter from Schumer — he tore it up,” Solomon Lartey explains. “It was the craziest thing ever. He ripped papers into tiny pieces.”
And Reginald Young Jr. noted, “We had to endure this under the Trump administration. I’m looking at my director, and saying, ‘Are you guys serious?’ We’re making more than $60,000 a year, we need to be doing far more important things than this. It felt like the lowest form of work you can take on without having to empty the trash cans.”
The article includes quotes from people in other administrations who say they never had to tape together even one document.
It's a terrific article, from over a year ago, full of details and reactions for incredulous people across administrations that such a job was actually needed, that a president would not only rip up original presidential documents -- literally against the law -- but shred them, and do this on a regular, ongoing basis. So much so that two government officials were needed to tape them all back together, often like doing jigsaw puzzles, You can find it here.
So, all this "outraged" handwringing by Republicans, including GOP elected officials, and calls to bring Speaker Nancy Pelosi up on charges for tearing up a photocopy (something that is not even remotely illegal), is just utterly pathetic in its depth of hypocrisy, even by today's Republican Party standard of hypocrisy – of course.
And as hypocritical as it is, the hypocrisy isn't even the main point. The main point isn't even that Trump ripping up presidential documents is against the law. The main point is that there is someone in the White House so pathologically infantile that he he actually rips up documents on a regular basis, often into tiny shreds -- and two high-paid government officials have to tape them back together so that they can be sent, as required by law, to the National Archives.
And the elected members of the Republican Party enable him, and are complicit.