Pence to Attend Biden's Inauguration, Official Says

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Vice President Mike Pence officiates as a joint session of the House and Senate convenes to confirm the Electoral College votes cast in November's election, at the Capitol in Washington, January 6, 2021.
Vice President Mike Pence officiates as a joint session of the House and Senate convenes to confirm the Electoral College votes cast in November's election, at the Capitol in Washington, January 6, 20Credit: Saul Loeb/AP Photo

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence will attend President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration, a senior administration official said on Saturday.

On Friday, President Donald Trump said he would not attend the inauguration of his successor on Jan. 20.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the top congressional Democrat, has threatened to impeach Trump for a historic second time unless he resigned "immediately," a move the pugnacious president is unlikely to consider.

Pelosi has also asked members to draft legislation aimed at invoking the U.S. Constitution's 25th Amendment, which allows the removal of a president unable to fulfill the duties of the office.

Trump "has done something so serious -- that there should be prosecution against him," Pelosi told CBS' "60 Minutes" according to an early excerpt of the interview.

The intensifying effort to oust Trump from the White House has drawn scattered support from Republicans, whose party has been splintered by the president's actions. Democrats have pressed Pence to consider the 25th Amendment, but a Pence adviser has said he opposes the idea.

The odds that Trump will actually be removed before Jan. 20, when President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in, remain long. Any impeachment in the House would trigger a trial in the Republican-controlled Senate, which is scheduled to be in recess until Jan. 19 and has already acquitted Trump once before.

Trump has said he will not be at Biden's inauguration, but Pence will attend, a senior administration official said on Saturday.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sent a memo to his fellow Republican senators suggesting a trial would not begin until Trump was out of office, a source familiar with the document said. A conviction in the Senate requires a two-thirds vote.

Democrats will take control of the Senate later this month, after Georgia certifies two runoff elections won by Democratic challengers.

Twitter permanently cut off Trump's personal account and access to his nearly 90 million followers late on Friday, citing the risk of further incitement of violence, three days after Trump exhorted thousands of supporters to march on the Capitol as Congress met to certify Biden's Nov. 3 election victory.

The resulting assault, viewed with shock around the world, left a police officer and four others dead in its wake, as rioters breached the Capitol and forced lawmakers into hiding for their own safety.

In his first public comments, Pope Francis said he was "astonished" and that anyone engaged in attacks on democracy must be condemned.

A Florida man who was photographed smiling and waving as he carried Pelosi's lectern from the House chambers amid the chaos was arrested by federal law enforcement late Friday.

Authorities also arrested a man seen in widely shared photographs wearing a horned fur hat and carrying a spear inside the Capitol. Dozens of others face federal and state charges.

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