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Harris escorted Pence to his motorcade, a symbol of a peaceful transfer of power.

Vice President Kamala Harris escorted her predecessor, Mike Pence, to a procession that effectively brought him back to civilian life after he was sworn in on Wednesday.

The exchange offered a symbolic representation of the peaceful transfer of power in the absence of former President Donald J. Trump, who left Washington before President Biden’s inauguration.

Mr Pence called Ms Harris last week to congratulate her and offer her belated help with her transition. It was the first time the two had spoken since the vice-presidential debate during the campaign last fall.

Mr. Pence was the most senior member of Mr. Trump’s administration to attend Mr. Biden’s inauguration, a move shared with the former president. Mr Biden had said he was happy not to have Mr Trump, but that Mr Pence was “welcome” and that would help with the transition.

The former vice president was due to return to Indiana, his home state.

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Pence, stepping into a leadership vacuum, calls on Harris to offer his help ahead of the opening day.

Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday phoned Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to congratulate her and offer her assistance ahead of next week’s swearing-in, the latest indication Mr Pence is filling the leadership role almost abdicated by the President Trump.

The conversation, relayed by two officials informed of the call, was described as gracious and pleasant. This is the first time that Mr. Pence and Ms. Harris have spoken since they debated last fall.

It also represents the only one-on-one conversation between elected officials in the outgoing and incoming administration: Mr. Trump refused to call President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. and did not even fully admit his defeat. in his public remarks.

Mr Pence and his wife, Karen, could have Ms Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, at the vice presidential residence ahead of the inauguration on Wednesday, an official said. But those plans remain uncertain, in part because of security threats to the nation’s capital that have made planning fluid.

Typically, the first outgoing family and the incoming family meet at the White House on the morning of the inauguration. But Mr. Trump plans to fly to Florida that morning, has no plans to speak to Mr. Biden, and will not attend the opening.

The Pences will attend the inauguration, in the tradition of past Second Families, and Mr Biden said Mr Pence’s presence there would be an important example of a peaceful transfer of power.

In the week since a violent mob attacked the Capitol, some of them hoping to kill Mr Pence, the president has not said anything in public about his vice president, who was one of the members. most respectful of Mr. Trump’s staff until a rift last week.

But with Washington filled with armed National Guard troops after the attack, Mr. Pence has taken on the role usually occupied by presidents in times of crisis. He returned to the Senate chamber after the attack to chair the certification of the Electoral College. In the days that followed, he attended law enforcement briefings on the security threat, and on Thursday he made an impromptu visit to Capitol Hill to thank the soldiers stationed there.

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Video: House calls on Pence to remove Trump from power

new video loaded: House calls on Pence to remove Trump from power

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House calls on Pence to remove Trump from power

The House of Representatives voted 223 to 205 on Tuesday night to call on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to strip President Trump of his powers for inciting a mob to attack the Capitol.

“I think every member of this body should be able to agree that this president does not perform the most minimal functions of power. He does not keep the oath he has sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution. We are simply asking Vice President Pence to exercise his powers under 25th Constitutional Amendment, Section 4, to summon the cabinet and mobilize the cabinet to state and articulate what is obvious to the American people: this president does not does not fulfill his office duties and is clearly unable to do so. The 25th Amendment deals specifically with the inability of the president to perform the duties of his office. It was never intended as a political weapon when Congress does not like the way it carries out these functions. Now I have read this speech. He never suggested ransacking the Capitol and disrupting Congress. “The facts are very clear. The president called for this seditious attack on Wednesday morning. He attended a rally to encourage rioters to march on the Capitol and fight. The actions of the president demonstrate his absolute inability to discharge the most basic and fundamental powers and duties of his office. Therefore, the president must be removed from office immediately. “The adoption of this political resolution would be more a source of division than ofification. The vice president said he did not intend to take any action under the amendment, so this process is pure political theater on the part of the majority. “On this vote, the yeses are 223; the nays are 205. The resolution is adopted without opposition. The reconsideration motion is on the table. “

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In a letter to Pelosi, Pence dismisses the House’s efforts to impeach Trump.

Vice President Mike Pence rejected the possibility of stripping President Trump of his powers through the 25th Amendment, berating a bipartisan House resolution calling on the Vice President to do so.

“I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interests of our nation or in accordance with our Constitution,” Pence wrote in a letter to President Nancy Pelosi. “I urge you and every member of Congress to avoid actions that would further divide and ignite the passions of the moment.”

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Pence has reached his limit with Trump. It was not pretty.

In the Oval Office last week, the day before the vote, Mr. Trump pushed Mr. Pence into a series of meetings, including one that lasted at least an hour. John Eastman, a conservative constitutional scholar at Chapman University, was in the office and argued to Mr. Pence that he had the power to act.

The next morning, hours before the vote, Richard Cullen, Mr Pence’s personal lawyer, called J. Michael Luttig, a former appeals court judge revered by the Tories – and for whom Mr Eastman had already been a clerk. Mr Luttig agreed to quickly write his opinion that the vice president did not have the power to change the outcome, and then posted it on Twitter.

Within minutes, Mr Pence’s staff incorporated Mr Luttig’s reasoning, citing him by name, into a letter announcing the Vice President’s decision not to try to block voters. Arriving on Tuesday, Mr Luttig said it was “the greatest honor of my life” to play a role in preserving the Constitution.

After the angry call insulting Mr. Pence, Mr. Trump raised the rally’s supporters against his own vice president, saying, “I hope he doesn’t listen to the RINOs and the stupid people he listen.

“He prepared Mike Pence that day by putting him on his shoulders,” said Ryan Streeter, an adviser to Mr. Pence when he was governor of Indiana. “It’s a pretty unprecedented thing in American politics. For a president to throw his own vice president under the bus like that and encourage his supporters to take him is something just unacceptable in my mind.

Mr. Pence was already in his procession on Capitol Hill by this time. When the crowd broke into the building, Secret Service agents evacuated him and his wife and children, first to his office on the floor and later to the basement. His agents urged him to leave the building, but he refused to abandon the Capitol. From there, he spoke to leaders of Congress, the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – but not the president.

A Republican senator later said he had never seen Mr Pence so angry, feeling betrayed by a president he had done so much for. To Mr. Trump, an adviser said, the vice president had entered “session territory,” referring to Jeff Sessions, the attorney general who was tortured by the president before being sacked. (A vice-president cannot be removed by a president.)

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House moves to force Trump out, vowing impeachment if Pence doesn’t act

At one point, Mr Trump told the vice president he spoke to Mark Martin, the former chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, who he said told him that Mr. Pence had that power. Mr. Pence had assured Mr. Trump that he had not. Mr Trump asked the vice president to defend his reasoning in a meeting with lawyers Rudolph W. Giuliani had helped line up.

Both parties admitted that they had no clear idea of ​​how many party senators might ultimately vote to convict Mr. Trump.

Mr Toomey said Mr Trump had “fallen into a sort of madness” since the election and had effectively “disqualified” himself from ever running again. But a day after calling Mr. Trump’s conduct “impassive,” Mr. Toomey argued that impeachment would be unachievable, with Mr. Trump already heading for the exit.

“I think the best way for our country, Chuck, is for the president to step down and go ASAP,” he told host Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press”. “I admit it might not be likely, but I think it would be better.”

Speaking with associates about the prospect of another indictment, Mr. Trump was struck by how few of his defense team in last year’s Senate trial would be part of a news story. procedure.

Jay Sekulow, who has been his primary personal attorney, and two other private attorneys, Marty Raskin and Jane Raskin, will not be involved in a future impeachment defense, according to a person with knowledge of the planning, nor Pat A. Cipollone, the attorney for the White House, or Patrick F. Philbin, his deputy.

This time only a few of his allies on Capitol Hill also offered to speak in defense. Of those who did, many used calls for “unity” to argue against impeachment or to demand Mr. Trump’s resignation. In most cases, lawmakers categorically claiming Democrats should let the country ‘move’ were among those who, even after Wednesday’s violence, voted to reject election results in major swing states that Mr Biden has won on the basis of allegations of widespread electoral fraud that the courts and the states themselves have said were false.

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Pence plans to attend Biden’s inauguration.

Vice President Mike Pence will attend the inauguration of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Jan.20, an aide to the vice-president said on Saturday, breaking with President Trump’s decision not to attend.

The adviser revealed the decision four days after Mr Pence took cover at the Capitol complex as a crowd of Trump supporters who had attended a rally with the president passed the building during certification of the votes of the electoral college.

Mr. Trump confirmed on Friday that he would not attend the inauguration.

Mr. Pence had always been more likely to attend the inauguration than Mr. Trump, who was almost certain to skip the ceremony. But after the events on Capitol Hill Wednesday that left five dead, Mr Pence’s decision was awaited.

Mr Biden said this week that he was glad he didn’t have Mr Trump there, but that Mr Pence was “welcome” and that would help with the transition. Mr. Trump had pressured Mr. Pence publicly and privately to revoke the certifications and send them back to the states so that Mr. Trump could try to overturn the results in the states Mr. Biden won.

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Pence intends to attend Biden’s inauguration.

Vice President Mike Pence will attend the inauguration of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Jan.20, an aide to the vice-president said on Saturday, breaking with President Trump’s decision not to attend.

The adviser revealed the decision four days after Mr Pence took cover at the Capitol complex as a crowd of Trump supporters who had attended a rally with the president passed the building during certification of the votes of the electoral college.

Mr. Trump confirmed on Friday that he would not attend the inauguration.

Mr. Pence had always been more likely to attend the inauguration than Mr. Trump, who was almost certain to skip the ceremony. But after the events on Capitol Hill Wednesday that left five dead, Mr Pence’s decision was awaited.

Mr Biden said this week that he was glad he didn’t have Mr Trump there, but that Mr Pence was “welcome” and that would help with the transition. Mr. Trump had pressured Mr. Pence publicly and privately to revoke the certifications and send them back to the states so that Mr. Trump could try to overturn the results in the states Mr. Biden won.

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Protesters in New York call on Trump and Pence to quit

A crowd of several thousand anti-Trump protesters gathered at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on Thursday night, then took to Flatbush Avenue for a peaceful march to the Prospect Park West home of New York Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer.

As the group made their way to Mr. Schumer’s building, protesters chanted “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA”, accompanied by the beats of drummers and percussionists.

Several people in the crowd said they were pressured into venturing out into the cold night after seeing Mr. Trump’s supporters storm the United States Capitol building in Washington on Wednesday.

“What we saw was incredibly frustrating and tragic, and a lot of people are looking for direction,” said Nina Svirsky, a teacher from Brooklyn.

Dozens of masked and uniformed police officers monitored the rally; no arrests were reported. After most of the crowd dissipated, discussions between some of those who remained focused specifically on the glaring racial disparities in crowd control and law enforcement that were on display on Wednesday.

“If that was us, we really would have been beaten up, so we’re mad at that,” said Alfred Martinez, 39, a black man who said he came from the Bronx.

In Manhattan, a much smaller group gathered in Times Square, where members of Refuse Fascism, an activist organization, deployed a banner with the hashtag “#OutNow!” and called for the impeachment of President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

“We are here today because what we saw yesterday was an attempted coup,” one of the protest organizers, Jennifer Sabel, said over a loudspeaker.

Noting the modest size of the crowd, Ms Sabel urged those who were there to return on Saturday and bring others with them for what she hoped would be a national day of protest. The protest ended after about an hour.

Emma Kaplan, another organizer of Refuse Fascism, said she and her compatriots didn’t feel like they could bide their time until President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. succeeds Mr. Trump more late this month.

“The next 13 days, what we do now will determine the future,” Ms. Kaplan said. “We have to be on the sidelines and not hope this will resolve itself because yesterday showed where it leads.”

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Democrats threaten impeachment if Pence doesn’t act after Capitol siege

They admitted that the Senate conviction, which would require a two-thirds majority, including 17 Republican deserters, still had a long way to go. But some Democrats and Republicans have privately felt that impeachment has other benefits. If the Senate were to vote to convict, then it could bar Mr. Trump from re-assuming federal office, thereby eliminating any prospect of him running in 2024, a possibility some Republicans privately dread.

Among those pushing leaders towards the idea were some of the House’s more outspoken progressives, including Representatives Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, and key moderates whose backers to last year’s impeachment was crucial.

“As a country, we need to demonstrate that this type of behavior is beyond the pale,” Michigan Representative Elissa Slotkin, a former national security official who represents a Red District, said in a statement. “I would prefer cabinet officials to act, but I will be prepared to consider other measures, such as impeachment, in the little time we have left.”

A group of Justice Panel Democrats, led by Representatives David Cicilline of Rhode Island and Jamie Raskin of Maryland, have begun circulating charges of “serious felony”. They included a single tally, “abuse of power,” based on Mr. Trump “willfully inciting violence against the United States government” in an effort to overturn the results of a democratically decided election. The articles also mention an explosive phone call from Mr. Trump pressuring the Georgian Secretary of State to “find” him the votes he needed to overturn Mr. Biden’s victory there.

Other articles written by Ms. Omar had around 60 co-sponsors, she said.

A handful of Republicans also appeared open to drastic action, although they dismissed the indictment for practical reasons. Some Democrats have also argued that it may not be worth the effort to pull together and defend a case with so little time for Mr. Trump.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, Republican of Illinois, called on Mr Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment, posting on Twitter that the president had become “released not only from his duty or oath, but from reality itself. “.

Rep. Tom Reed, a New York Republican and co-chair of the Bipartisan Caucus for Problem Solving, argued that the impeachment process could backfire at a time when the nation appeared to be heading for a peaceful transfer of power after Mr. Pence and Congress have ratified Mr. Biden’s victory.