10 Democrats to boycott Trump State of the Union address

At least 10 House Democrats are boycotting President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS reimposes UN sanctions on Iran amid increasing tensions Jeff Flake: Republicans 'should hold the same position' on SCOTUS vacancy as 2016 Trump supporters chant 'Fill that seat' at North Carolina rally 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's race tactics fall flat Trump administration ending support for 7 Texas testing sites as coronavirus cases spike The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Miami mayor worries about suicide and domestic violence rise; Trump-governor debate intensifies MORE (Texas), Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezLawmakers fear voter backlash over failure to reach COVID-19 relief deal Why Democrats must confront extreme left wing incitement to violence The Hill Interview: Jerry Brown on climate disasters, COVID-19 and Biden's 'Rooseveltian moment' MORE (N.Y.), Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleySan Francisco considers changing local voting age to 16 Hillicon Valley: Election officials prepare for new Russian interference battle | 'Markeyverse' of online fans helps take down a Kennedy | GOP senators unveil bill to update tech liability protections 'Markeyverse' of online fans helps take down a Kennedy MORE (Mass.), Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersPelosi: House will stay in session until agreement is reached on coronavirus relief Omar invokes father's death from coronavirus in reaction to Woodward book Business groups increasingly worried about death of filibuster MORE (Calif.), Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonSenate to hold nomination hearing for Wolf next week Hillicon Valley: FBI chief says Russia is trying to interfere in election to undermine Biden | Treasury Dept. sanctions Iranian government-backed hackers FBI director calls antifa 'a real thing' 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 ClintonDolly Parton remembers Ginsburg: 'Her voice was soft but her message rang loud' Sunday shows preview: Justice Ginsburg dies, sparking partisan battle over vacancy before election Calls grow for Biden to expand election map in final sprint 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: A surprising Republican wave election could be looming Feehery: How Trump wins Feehery: The working-class party 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 RomneyMomentum growing among Republicans for Supreme Court vote before Election Day Toobin: McConnell engaging in 'greatest act of hypocrisy in American political history' with Ginsburg replacement vote The Memo: Court battle explodes across tense election landscape MORE (Utah) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsJeff Flake: Republicans 'should hold the same position' on SCOTUS vacancy as 2016 Trump supporters chant 'Fill that seat' at North Carolina rally Momentum growing among Republicans for Supreme Court vote before Election Day MORE (Maine), joining with Democrats in support of calling witnesses. 

Tuesday will be the first time that Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSunday shows preview: Justice Ginsburg dies, sparking partisan battle over vacancy before election Trump is betting big on the suburbs, but his strategy is failing 'bigly' Trump orders flags at half-staff to honor 'trailblazer' Ginsburg 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.