Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) on Monday became the third Democrat to announce he will not attend President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday.
“I will not attend the State of the Union once again this year,” Cohen told The Hill. “I’ll come to the House Chamber for the State of the Union the next time I can hear from a president who will tell the truth about the State of the Union.”
Cohen, a top House Judiciary Committee member, introduced articles of impeachment against President Trump in November 2017. He has previously accused the president of operating a “criminal enterprise” to enrich himself and his family.
“They’ve done it at Trump Tower. They’ve done it with the Trump hotels. They’ve done it with the Saudis… This is a criminal enterprise that makes Al Capone and Frank Nitti look like good guys,” he told MSNBC in December 2018.
While Cohen has previously made serious efforts to move impeachment forward, the Tennessee Democrat is now pumping the brakes ib impeachment talk in the hopes that special counsel Robert Mueller reveals evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 presidential election.
“Those people, including myself, who think he’s committed impeachable offenses and should be impeached understand also the pragmatic politics of waiting for the report as proof to get more of the American public in agreement,” the lawmaker said. “Because you’ve got to have the American public on your side.”
“I think Mueller’s report will be a blockbuster,” he added.
Cohen joins Reps. Hank Johnson (D-GA) and John Lewis (D-GA) in skipping the highly anticipated speech.
“I have a problem with defiling the Speaker’s chair in the House of Representatives,” Johnson said in an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I don’t want to see it lowered, as is what happens when Donald Trump comes to our floor and starts talking about groups of people, particularly Latinos, and disparaging them as a people.”