MIKE Pence plans to attend Joe Biden's inauguration – but he could oust Donald Trump and be there as outgoing President.
Trump's loyal lieutenant is under pressure to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove his boss from power, days ahead of the January 20 ceremony.
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Three sources close to the vice-president told Politico he would likely appear at the event to show support for the peaceful transition of power.
The revelation comes hours after a violent, unprecedented breach of the Capitol building on Wednesday.
A riot forced Pence and members of Congress to be evacuated just as they had convened to certify the 2020 election victory of President-elect Joe Biden over Trump.
Five people died in the mayhem, including a woman shot by police.
Loyal Pence is still angry that Trump lashed out at those who dared to cross him, including his second-in-command.
This president should not hold office one day longer.
With Trump critisizing Pence publicly and privately for refusing to try to prevent Congress from certifying Biden’s win – which he could not have legally done – his attendance at the inauguration "was a much more difficult decision days ago, but less difficult now,” said a person close to Pence.
The VP is planning to attend Biden's swearing-in, but is waiting for an official invitation, a source close to him confirmed to CNN on Thursday.
"That's the plan," the source added.
The VP was described as being under pressure from many of those around him, who are encouraging him to attend.
It's understood that Pence is expected to attend Biden’s inauguration, but plans are yet to be finalized.
His press secretary Devin O’Malley tweeted on Thursday: “You can’t attend something you haven’t received an invitation to.”
But it is customary for an outgoing VP to attend the inauguration. Trump has not said whether he plans to attend.
Democrats and some Republicans have called for Trump administration officials to invoke the 25th Amendment to relieve him of his powers, less than two weeks before he is to leave office.
But, Pence opposes using the section to remove Trump from power, according to reports from Business Insider and the New York Times.
However leading Democrats, including House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, have called for impeachment proceedings to remove Trump after his supporters stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday.
"What happened at the US Capitol was an insurrection against the United States, incited by the president.
"This president should not hold office one day longer," Senator Chuck Schumer said.
He urged Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment, which would allow for a transfer of power from the president to the vice-president, either temporarily or permanently.
"If the vice-president and the cabinet refuse to stand up, Congress should reconvene to impeach the president," Schumer added.
House Democrats are prepared to move forward with impeachment proceedings against Trump as early as next week, Assistant House Speaker Katherine Clark said on Friday.
"Donald Trump needs to be removed from office and we are going to proceed with every tool that we have to make sure that that happens to protect our democracy," Clark told CNN in an interview.
If Pence does not invoke the US Constitution's 25th Amendment to remove Trump, "we will move forward with impeachment", she warned.
No member of the Cabinet has publicly expressed support for the move which would make Pence the acting president.
However,several were believed to be sympathetic to the notion, believing Trump is too volatile in his waning days in office.
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