In the latest twist in the ongoing saga over the State of the Union, President Trump on Wednesday wrote that he planned to ignore House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's disinvitation and proceed with delivering his speech on Jan. 29 "on time, on schedule, and very importantly, on location!”
So can Trump simply show up to the House of Representatives to deliver his speech? And if he does, can Pelosi just have security kick him out?
The answer is multi-layered.
Under the rules, declaring a formal joint session of Congress requires the agreement of both the House and Senate. Without Pelosi's consent, in other words, there can't be a joint session.
At the same time, however, as described by McClatchy, no rules would prevent Trump from entering the House chamber, or speaking on the House floor, whenever he wants. So he's perfectly within his powers to show up and deliver his speech.
That said, Pelosi, D-Calif., has other tools at her disposal to thwart Trump. She could shut off the lights, turn off the microphones, and also make sure that no cameras are allowed because the House won't be in session.
But, while there is some precedent for these sorts of games, it would take things to a new level if something like this were to take place involving the president arriving on Capitol Hill to deliver the State of the Union.
Trump and his team have now had time to discuss various responses to Pelosi's letter, including the possibility of delivering the speech from the White House, the Senate, or another location. He may have reached the conclusion that simply showing up is a win-win. In this way of thinking, if Pelosi relents, it makes him look like a stronger leader who stared down Pelosi and won...