Several Democrat congressmen have announced that they will break away from a bipartisan tradition by not attending the swearing-in ceremony of Donald Trump as the President of the US next week. Arizona Representative Raul Grijalva said on Friday that on January 20 he will be working in his constituency and that his absence from Washington is not due to a lack of respect for the institution, but a challenge to the man who has lacked respect towards millions of Americans, Efe news reported.
“My absence is not motivated by disrespect for the office or motivated by disrespect for the government that we have in this great democracy. But as an individual act, yes, of defiance, at the disrespect shown to millions and millions of Americans by this incoming administration and by the actions we are taking in this Congress,” The Hill quoted Grijalva as saying.
Long time Georgia congressman John Lewis, a noted civil rights activist, will be absent from the ceremony for the first time since being elected in 1987, as he does not believe Trump will be a legitimate president due to Russia’s alleged attempts to meddle in the elections.
He told NBC News that he does not think Trump is a “legitimate president” given Russia’s attempts to help elect the real estate mogul. “You cannot be at home with something that you feel that is wrong, is not right,” Lewis said.
Illinois Representative Luis Gutierrez, who is scheduled to take part in a women’s demonstration against Trump in Washington on January 21, will also not attend the swearing-in ceremony. He was the first lawmaker to say that he would boycott Trump’s inauguration.
“I cannot go to (the) inauguration of a man who’s going to appoint people to the Supreme Court and turn back the clock on women and turn back the clock on immigrants and the safety and freedom that we fought for them,” he earlier told CNN in December.
Massachusetts Representative Katherine Clark, California congressman Jared Huffman and Oakland congresswoman Barbara Lee have stated their intention not to attend the inauguration.