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10 Democrats to boycott Trump State of the Union address

At least 10 House Democrats are boycotting President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden to sign executive order aimed at increasing voting access Albany Times Union editorial board calls for Cuomo's resignation Advocates warn restrictive voting bills could end Georgia's record turnout 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. GreenHouse Democrat sits on Capitol steps to protest extremist threat Biden pledges support for Texas amid recovery from winter storm Biden turns focus to winter storm with Texas trip MORE (Texas), Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezProgressives won't oppose bill over limits on stimulus checks Bipartisan bill would ban lawmakers from buying, selling stocks The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - J&J vax rollout today; third woman accuses Cuomo MORE (N.Y.), Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyPressley says image of Black custodial staff cleaning up Capitol after Jan. 6 riot 'haunts' her DeJoy apologizes for mail delays while defending Postal Service changes DeJoy set for grilling by House Oversight panel MORE (Mass.), Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersProgressives grumble but won't sink relief bill over fewer stimulus checks Lawmakers, Martin Luther King III discuss federal responses to systematic racism The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Ahead: One-shot vax, easing restrictions, fiscal help MORE (Calif.), Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Increased security on Capitol Hill amid QAnon's March 4 date House passes voting rights and elections reform bill Lawmakers line up behind potential cyber breach notification legislation MORE (Miss.), Bobby RushBobby Lee RushOVERNIGHT ENERGY: House Democrats reintroduce road map to carbon neutrality by 2050 | Kerry presses oil companies to tackle climate change | Biden delays transfer of sacred lands for copper mine House Democrats reintroduce road map to carbon neutrality by 2050 House Democrats criticize Texas's 'shortcomings in preparations' on winter storms MORE (Ill.), Steve CohenStephen (Steve) Ira CohenFeds looking at communications between lawmakers, Capitol rioters: report Missouri man indicted for allegedly threatening two congressmen Tim Ryan: Prosecutors reviewing video of Capitol tours given by lawmakers before riot MORE (Tenn.), Earl BlumenauerEarl BlumenauerMomentum is growing towards investing in America's crumbling infrastructure Five things Biden should do to tackle the climate emergency Bipartisan bill to provide 0B in coronavirus relief for restaurants reintroduced MORE (Ore.), Hank JohnsonHenry (Hank) C. JohnsonNAACP, Rep. Bennie Thompson sue Trump, Giuliani over Capitol riot House Judiciary Democrats ask Pence to invoke 25th Amendment to remove Trump Five things to watch during Electoral College battle MORE (Ga.) and Frederica WilsonFrederica Patricia WilsonAn attack on America that's divided Congress — and a nation Capitol Police report warned that Congress could be targeted three days before riot Democrats point fingers on whether Capitol rioters had inside help 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 ClintonIt's time to fix an important religious freedom law Senators introduce bill creating technology partnerships to compete with China Edie Falco to play Hillary Clinton in Clinton impeachment series 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 HastertSenate holds longest vote in history as Democrats scramble to save relief bill Feehery: Tear down this fence and end the lockdowns Feehery: How Republicans can win by focusing on schools 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 RomneyDemocratic centrists flex power on Biden legislation Ron Johnson grinds Senate to halt, irritating many Romney's TRUST Act is a Trojan Horse to cut seniors' benefits MORE (Utah) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenate rejects Sanders minimum wage hike Murkowski votes with Senate panel to advance Haaland nomination OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Interior reverses Trump policy that it says restricted science | Collins to back Haaland's Interior nomination | Republicans press Biden environment nominee on Obama-era policy MORE (Maine), joining with Democrats in support of calling witnesses. 

Tuesday will be the first time that Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump White House associate tied to Proud Boys before riot via cell phone data Greene sounds off on GOP after Hill story 'Bloody Sunday' to be commemorated for first time without John Lewis 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.