Rep. Jamie Raskin Reverses Course, Will Also Skip Trump’s Swearing-In

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A second Maryland congressman has decided he can’t stomach watching Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremony this Friday.

Freshman Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland’s 8th congressional district said as recently as Sunday that he sees attending the inauguration as a “constitutional duty,” according to Bethesda Magazine. But late yesterday afternoon, he decided he just can’t stand the thought of being there.

“For the last couple of weeks, I have assumed that I would attend the inauguration of Donald Trump, obviously not to show any support for his politics but as a gesture of constitutionalism, simply to witness the peaceful transfer of power from President Obama to the new administration,” he said in a statement on his website. “But, as the hour approaches, I realize that I cannot bring myself to go.”

Among the reasons weighing on his mind are Trump’s business ties to foreign entities, his denial of alleged Russian interference in the election, his attack on Rep. John Lewis from this past weekend and, perhaps most pointedly, the president-elect’s “relentless trafficking in bigotry, misogyny and fear.”

Raskin joins fellow congressional newbie Rep. Anthony Brown as Maryland’s only federal lawmakers to boycott the ceremony. The Sun reports Rep. Elijah Cummings is still undecided, while all other members of Congress from the Free State still plan to attend.

Raskin and Brown aren’t at all alone, though. In fact, dozens of Democratic lawmakers have made other plans for Friday after Trump tweeted some critical remarks about Lewis, a celebrated civil rights icon and Georgia congressman. Lewis told NBC’s “Meet the Press” last Friday that he felt Trump’s election wasn’t legitimate due to alleged Russian interference in the election.

Raskin and Brown, both of whom represent parts of Prince George’s County, should have plenty to talk about that day while they’re not watching Donald Trump officially become president. Assuming they won’t be holed up in their offices nearby, they should at least be able to avoid the hundreds of thousands of spectators piling into D.C.

Ethan McLeod
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Ethan McLeod

Senior Editor at Baltimore Fishbowl
Ethan has been editing and reporting for Baltimore Fishbowl since fall of 2016. His previous stops include Fox 45, CQ Researcher and Connection Newspapers in Northern Virginia. His freelance writing has been featured in Baltimore City Paper, Leafly, DCist and BmoreArt, among other outlets. He enjoys basketball, humid Mid-Atlantic summers and story tips.
Ethan McLeod
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