President Donald Trump announced Friday he will not be attending the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
Trump tweeted his decision in just one sentence: "To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th."
To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 8, 2021
Trump will be the first incumbent president since Andrew Johnson to skip his successor's swearing-in. Traditionally, the incoming and outgoing presidents ride to the US Capitol together for the ceremony, as a symbol of the nation's peaceful transition.
Vice President Mike Pence was expected to attend the inauguration. Pence spokesman Devin Malley said, "Vice President Pence and the Second Lady have yet to make a decision regarding their attendance."
On Thursday evening, Trump released a short video message from the White House condemning the violence carried out a day earlier at the Capitol. In the video, he admitted his presidency would soon end.
"A new administration will be inaugurated on Jan. 20," Trump said in the video. "My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly, and seamless transition of power. This moment calls for healing and reconciliation."
Democrats Planning Impeachment, If Pence Doesn't Act to Oust Trump
Meanwhile, House Democratic leaders say the House could take up articles of impeachment against President Trump as soon as next week if Vice President Mike Pence and Trump’s Cabinet don’t act to remove him from office.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) have called on Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to toss Trump out of the White House. It's a process for removing the president and installing the vice president to take over. That section of the amendment has never been used before in US history.
Pelosi is meeting with the House Democratic caucus Friday to consider impeachment proceedings against the president.
If Trump, whose term ends Jan. 20, were to be impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate, he could be prevented from running again in 2024 or ever holding the presidency again. Trump would be only the president to be twice impeached.
Pence hasn't publicly spoken about the possibility of invoking the 25th Amendment. But that possibility may have faded after two Cabinet members resigned Thursday in protest.
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