elijah cummings president obama legacy newday_00000000.jpg
PHOTO: CNN
elijah cummings president obama legacy newday_00000000.jpg
Now playing
00:45
Rep. Cummings: Obama has elevated us 'so much'
This image was taken during the first drive of NASA's Perseverance rover on Mars on March 4, 2021. The team has spent the weeks since landing checking out the rover to prepare for surface operations.
PHOTO: JPL-Caltech/NASA
This image was taken during the first drive of NASA's Perseverance rover on Mars on March 4, 2021. The team has spent the weeks since landing checking out the rover to prepare for surface operations.
Now playing
02:17
NASA releases stunning new images from Mars
PHOTO: ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live!"
Now playing
02:09
Sacha Baron Cohen plays Covid vaccine dealer to the stars
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
04:37
Keilar calls out Tucker Carlson's show: Partisan junk food
PHOTO: MyHeritage
Now playing
01:01
Watch old photos come to life using AI
PHOTO: CNN/Getty Images
Now playing
06:46
McEnany says she expected 'peaceful' rally on January 6. Keilar rolls the tape
Now playing
01:26
No, Tom Cruise isn't on TikTok. It's a deepfake
PHOTO: ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live
Now playing
02:02
Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall reunite in 'Coming 2 America'
PHOTO: Courtesy AirlingRatings.com
Now playing
03:06
Virgin Atlantic CEO: We support Covid vaccine passports
Now playing
01:19
Warren proposes wealth tax: 'It's time for them to pay a fair share'
Now playing
01:43
Marriott CEO: Vaccinations are 'the key' to travel recovery

Story highlights

"My forefathers have worked hard to give me and others these opportunities," he said

Dozens of Democratic lawmakers are boycotting the election

(CNN) —  

Rep. Elijah Cummings, a frequent critic of President-elect Donald Trump, said Thursday he will not boycott the inauguration on Friday.

“My situation is, I want to be a witness to history,” the Maryland Democrat told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on “New Day.” “My forefathers have worked hard to give me and others these opportunities.”

Dozens of Democratic lawmakers are boycotting the inauguration, particularly after revelations of Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 election and Trump’s rebuke of civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis for saying he didn’t believe Trump’s presidency was legitimate.

Some members have said they will be protesting in Washington or in their home districts instead.

These Democrats aren’t attending Trump’s inauguration

Cummings said he understands his colleagues’ decision to protest.

“I think that they should do what they believe in their hearts,” he said.

“You gotta understand that we members of Congress have a lot of information that the public does not have,” he added. “If the public knew what members of Congress knew … The information will come out later at some point. Then the public will fully understand.”

Congress needs to do more to investigate Russia’s involvement in the election and FBI Director Jim Comey’s role in Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, Cummings said.

The Justice Department’s inspector general is looking into how the FBI handled the investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server during the 2016 presidential campaign.

“This is our watch and we have to protect this democracy,” said Cummings, the top Democrat on the Committee of Oversight and Government Reform. “This to me is bigger than President-elect Trump. I’m concerned that we are moving slowly but surely towards a crisis of legitimacy with regards to our core institutions.”