Congressmen who live in tax-delinquent townhouses probably shouldn’t throw stones.
Less than a week after telling “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd that he didn’t see Donald Trump as a “legitimate president,” Rep. John Lewis, D-Georgia, has been outed as a tax scofflaw.
Asked by Todd if he would look for ways to cooperate with Trump, Lewis responded, “It’s going to be very difficult. I don’t see this president-elect as a legitimate president. I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.
“I don’t plan to attend the inauguration. It will be the first one that I miss since I’ve been in Congress. You cannot be at home with something that you feel that is wrong, is not right.”
Lewis’ boycott of the inaugural inspired other congressional Democrats to announce they too would not be in attendance Friday, but not before Lewis’ claim that this is the first he would miss was shown to be untrue. He also refused to attend George W. Bush’s inaugural in 2001 after the defeat of Al Gore, saying then he didn’t believe Bush was “the true-elected president.”
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The property was assessed at $810,000 in 2012, according to a GotNews Nexis search. The unpaid tax is just over $4,000. In 2010 the congressman was threatened with legal action and foreclosure for failing to pay property taxes.
GotNews was unable to confirm if Lewis still owns the property.
Donald Trump responded to Lewis’ comment by tweeting, “Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results. All talk, talk, talk – no action or results. Sad!”
Congressional salaries begin at $174,000 a year, considerably more than the $48,000 median household income of Lewis’ predominantly black 5th Georgia Congressional District. And at $169,900, the median home value in the district is dwarfed by that of Lewis’ D.C. property. Lewis himself has decried crime in his district, noting on his congressional website that “in recent years, Metro Atlanta has experienced an alarming trend of increasing gang, youth, and relationship violence.”