Vice president expected to attend Joe Biden inauguration
Mike Pence is said to have vowed to work with Donald Trump for the “remainder of their term”, amid speculation the vice president could invoke the 25th Amendment to oust him.
The president and his deputy reportedly had “a good conversation” at the White House, their first since last week’s storming of the US Capitol by hundreds of supporters of Mr Trump, seeking to stop the certification of electoral college votes for Joe Biden.
Five people – including one police officer – lost their lives as a result of the incident, which Mr Trump had encouraged during a fiery speech to supporters, who he encouraged to walk to the US Capitol and put pressure on legislators.
Mr Biden and other Democrats have accused Mr Trump of encouraging “an insurrection”, and vowed to find some way to hold him accountable, even though he has less than two weeks of his presidency remaining.
On Monday, Democrats introduced articles of impeachment against the president, and said they would give Mr Pence 24 hours to invoke the 25th amendment of the US constitution to force him to stand aside.
If he did not, Democrats said, they would go ahead and vote to impeach Mr Trump in the House of Representatives later this week, making Mr Trump the only president to be twice impeached.
“As our next step, we will move forward with bringing impeachment legislation to the floor,” said House speaker Nancy Pelosi. “The president’s threat to America is urgent, and so too will be our action.”
There had been speculation among some that Mr Pence and other members of the cabinet might decide to act in such a manner, as further details and video footage emerged, of last week’s incident.
Before the violence, Mr Trump had sought to pressure his vice president by claiming – falsely – he had the constitutional power to refuse to to oversee the ceremony to ratify Mr Biden’s win.
Reports later emerged that some of the rioters had been chanting “Hang Mike Pence”.
On Monday evening, Reuters reported that Mr Pence and Mr Trump had met at the White House, and had a “good conversation”, according to a senior administration official. The development will be seen as an attempt to pour water on any agreement by Mr Pence to go against the president and help oust him.