Vice President Mike Pence signaled he’ll spurn demands to immediately oust President Trump over a deadly riot by the president’s supporters as the two met and agreed to work together for the remainder of the term, according to a senior administration official.
The discussion adds to indications that Trump has no plans to resign before Joe Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration.
It was the first time Trump and Pence have spoken since the president’s supporters stormed the Capitol while Pence was presiding over formal affirmation of their reelection defeat, according to two people familiar with the matter.
The two men, meeting in the Oval Office, agreed that people who broke into the Capitol don’t represent Trump’s “America first” movement and pledged to continue their work on behalf of the country for the remainder of their term, the official said. It was a good conversation in which Trump and Pence discussed the week ahead and reflected on the last four years of the administration’s work, the official added.
House Democrats have declared they intend to hold Trump accountable for the riot if Pence fails to act against the president. Lawmakers pushed forward Monday with their plans to impeach Trump for a second time, introducing an article of impeachment accusing Trump of “incitement of an insurrection”
Pence was initially furious at Trump after hundreds of the president’s supporters breached the Capitol last Wednesday, disrupting the count of electoral college votes and causing the vice president and lawmakers to flee the House and Senate chambers.
The episode raised the prospect that Pence might act to invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, which allows the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet to remove the president from office — a move encouraged by Democratic members of Congress. But Pence had privately dismissed the idea as not feasible, according to one person familiar with the matter.
The senior administration official’s account of the Trump-Pence meeting Monday appeared to put the matter to rest, and also ruled out a presidential resignation.
The vice president’s office and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows’ team coordinated on the official’s account, according to people familiar with the matter.
The official and the people familiar with the matter asked not to be identified because the meeting between Trump and Pence wasn’t announced.
House Democrats have introduced a resolution that sets up a vote over impeachment, probably Wednesday, unless Pence changes his position and invokes the 25h Amendment.