10 Democrats to boycott Trump State of the Union address

At least 10 House Democrats are boycotting President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says voters should choose who nominates Supreme Court justice Trump, Biden will not shake hands at first debate due to COVID-19 Pelosi: Trump Supreme Court pick 'threatens' Affordable Care Act MORE's State of the Union address on Tuesday night on the eve of the expected Senate vote to acquit him in his impeachment trial.

Most of the 10 Democrats — Reps. Al GreenAlexander (Al) N. GreenThe Memo: Trump furor stokes fears of unrest The Memo: Trump's race tactics fall flat Trump administration ending support for 7 Texas testing sites as coronavirus cases spike MORE (Texas), Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezWill Democrats attempt to pack the Supreme Court again? On The Money: Anxious Democrats push for vote on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi, Mnuchin ready to restart talks | Weekly jobless claims increase | Senate treads close to shutdown deadline McCarthy says there will be a peaceful transition if Biden wins MORE (N.Y.), Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyEnding the Hyde Amendment is no longer on the backburner Fauci, Black Lives Matter founders included on Time's 100 Most Influential People list Trump attacks Omar for criticizing US: 'How did you do where you came from?' MORE (Mass.), Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersPowell, Mnuchin stress limits of current emergency lending programs Pelosi: House will stay in session until agreement is reached on coronavirus relief Omar invokes father's death from coronavirus in reaction to Woodward book MORE (Calif.), Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonUnderwood takes over as chair of House cybersecurity panel House panel pans ICE detention medical care, oversight Senate to hold nomination hearing for Wolf next week MORE (Miss.), Bobby RushBobby Lee RushCongress should investigate OAS actions in Bolivia Rep. Bobby Rush introduces legislation focused on addressing racism, lack of diversity in the federal government House Democrat introduces bill to replace Confederate monuments nationwide MORE (Ill.), Steve CohenStephen (Steve) Ira CohenTennessee Rep. Steve Cohen wins Democratic primary Democrats exit briefing saying they fear elections under foreign threat Texas Democrat proposes legislation requiring masks in federal facilities MORE (Tenn.), Earl BlumenauerEarl BlumenauerAhead of a coronavirus vaccine, Mexico's drug pricing to have far-reaching impacts on Americans Trump threatens to double down on Portland in other major cities Federal agents deployed to Portland did not have training in riot control: NYT MORE (Ore.), Hank JohnsonHenry (Hank) C. JohnsonFive takeaways as panel grills tech CEOs Lawmakers, public bid farewell to John Lewis Johnson presses Barr on reducing Roger Stone's recommended sentence MORE (Ga.) and Frederica WilsonFrederica Patricia WilsonHarris calls it 'outrageous' Trump downplayed coronavirus House passes bill establishing commission to study racial disparities affecting Black men, boys Florida county official apologizes for social media post invoking Hitler  MORE (Fla.) — have also opted against attending Trump's past annual addresses to Congress in recent years as an expression of protest against his presidency.
 
Ocasio-Cortez and Pressley, who have been targets of Trump over the last year, both announced Tuesday that they will not be in the House chamber for the address. 
 
Both attended Trump's State of the Union last year about a month after they first took office.
 
"After much deliberation, I have decided that I will not use my presence at a state ceremony to normalize Trump’s lawless conduct & subversion of the Constitution," Ocasio-Cortez wrote in a series of tweets. "None of this is normal, and I will not legitimize it."
 
 
“On the eve of Senate Republicans covering up transgressions and spreading misinformation, I cannot in good conscience attend a sham State of the Union when I have seen firsthand the damage Donald J. Trump’s rhetoric and policies have inflicted on those I love and those I represent," Pressley said in a statement.
 
 
Green, one of the first and most ardent backers of impeaching Trump, said Tuesday that he will again decline to attend.

"Because of an impeached, reckless, ruthless, lawless, shameless, corrupt, & unapologetically bigoted president - who is still engaging in a coverup, the state of the House, the state of the Senate, and the #StateOfTheUnion are divided," Green tweeted. "I will NOT attend #SOTU2020."
 
Waters, another early proponent of impeachment who has skipped previous addresses by Trump, also said she would not attend on Tuesday.
 
“To think that I would attend the #SOTU to hear the message of an IMPEACHED president is a thought that in no way would be consistent w/ my fight and struggle against this dishonorable president. I will certainly NOT be there!” Waters tweeted.
 
 
"If I wanted to watch it, I can watch on TV," Gabbard told ABC News.
 
At least six House Democrats boycotted Trump's State of the Union address last year.
 
A total of 14 Democrats skipped the address in 2018, which came shortly after Trump caused a firestorm for describing African nations as "s---hole countries." Many Democrats also wanted to make a point amid their frustrations after Trump's first full year in office.
 
Impeachment factored into many Democrats’ decisions not to attend this year.
 
“I'm not interested in listening to this impeached President lie. Therefore, I will not be attending the #SOTU2020 tonight,” tweeted Thompson, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.

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Rush said in a statement on Tuesday that he “cannot honor this man in any way.”

“It would be painfully hypocritical of me to endure 90 minutes of unrelenting lies and all types of distortions and untruths, while at the same time watching his Republican apologists cheer,” he said.
 
More than 60 Democrats also boycotted Trump's inauguration, but most still attended the joint address a little over a month later. Green and Waters also did not attend Trump's joint address to Congress in 2017, which came shortly after his inauguration and therefore technically was not a State of the Union speech.
 
Trump went after Wilson, another CBC member, in 2017 after she criticized his handling over a call to the widow of a fallen solider, tweeting that she was "wacky" and "killing the Democrat Party."

Wilson said Tuesday that Trump is “too disrespectful toward women, children, immigrants, Gold Star families and poor people.”

Cohen, who previously co-introduced articles of impeachment against Trump in 2017, said in a statement on Monday that he "will not be a witness to puffery and prevarication flowing while our Constitution and our laws are disrespectfully and dangerously flouted."

Blumenauer also said that he will continue his streak since 2018 of skipping Trump's address.

“I have chosen not to dignify Trump’s parade of lies about health care, his persistent exaggeration, and his personal attacks with my attendance at this year’s State of the Union Address. His appalling performances each day continue to justify that decision, and I have no doubt tomorrow night will be more of the same — even possibly worse," Blumenauer said in a statement on Monday.
 
Most Democrats do plan to attend Trump's speech Tuesday night, with female lawmakers planning to reprise their tradition of wearing white — the color of suffragettes — to show solidarity with women.

Trump will not be the first president to deliver a State of the Union address before the Senate had concluded its impeachment trial into his alleged misconduct.

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Then-President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonHarris: Ginsburg 'absolutely' cleared the path for me Anxious Democrats amp up pressure for vote on COVID-19 aid Barr's Russia investigator has put some focus on Clinton Foundation: report MORE delivered his State of the Union address in January 1999 while the Senate was still conducting an impeachment trial over his affair with a White House intern. Clinton pointedly did not discuss impeachment during his speech and kept a focus on his domestic policy agenda.

Several GOP lawmakers boycotted Clinton's address that year, arguing that it was inappropriate for him to deliver a State of the Union speech before the end of the impeachment process.

Then-Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.), who was one of the 13 House Republicans serving as a prosecutor in the Senate trial, was among the boycotters because he thought it was "inappropriate and awkward for the president to make this speech directly to those sitting in judgment of him and those presenting the case against him in the Senate."

According to an Associated Press article from the time, then-Speaker Dennis HastertJohn (Dennis) Dennis HastertFeehery: Trump landslide is only way to save the republic as we know it Feehery: A surprising Republican wave election could be looming Feehery: How Trump wins MORE (R-Ill.) maintained that despite any "discomfort," Congress would listen to Clinton's remarks "out of respect for the office of the presidency and for the state of our union."

The Senate is expected to vote Wednesday to acquit Trump on the two articles of impeachment passed by the House in December that accuse the president of abusing his power and obstructing Congress in his pursuit to pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate his political opponents.

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The Senate narrowly voted Friday not to call any witnesses in the trial, with only two GOP senators, Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyCrenshaw looms large as Democrats look to flip Texas House seat The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Republicans lawmakers rebuke Trump on election Trump dumbfounds GOP with latest unforced error MORE (Utah) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenate GOP set to vote on Trump's Supreme Court pick before election Democratic senator to party: 'A little message discipline wouldn't kill us' Poll: 57 percent of Americans think next president, Senate should fill Ginsburg vacancy MORE (Maine), joining with Democrats in support of calling witnesses. 

Tuesday will be the first time that Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi: Trump Supreme Court pick 'threatens' Affordable Care Act Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for SCOTUS confirmation hearings before election Will Democrats attempt to pack the Supreme Court again? MORE (D-Calif.) and Trump will have spoken since a disastrous mid-October meeting on Syria in which she walked out following a confrontation with the president.

Pelosi told The New York Times in an interview published Monday that Democrats would treat Trump “as a guest in our House — and we hope he will behave as a guest in our House.”

“But,” Pelosi added, “we never have that expectation.”
 
This story was updated at 9:06 p.m.