President Trump announced on Friday that he will skip President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
Trump tweeted out his plans two days after a group of pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol to disrupt Congress’s certification of Biden’s 2020 election victory. The president has come under heavy criticism for his actions before and during the riot, and his administration has suffered a string of high-profile resignations since the incident.
“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th,” Trump tweeted.
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
Vice President Mike Pence is reportedly planning to attend Biden’s inauguration. As The Daily Wire reports:
Three sources close to the vice president said his appearance at the Jan. 20 inauguration was “likely,” according to Politico.
Pence’s decision, according to sources, was reportedly made easier after Trump publicly demanded that he overturn the Electoral College results, an action that was not within his constitutional authority.
Pence, who has long been one of Trump’s closest allies, was reportedly incensed with him for such rhetoric.
“It was a much more difficult decision days ago, but less difficult now,” a person close to Pence said.
After increased pressure from Trump to block the certification of electors from some battleground states, Pence released a letter in response Wednesday asserting that he did not have the constitutional authority to do so.
“The President is the chief executive officer of the Federal Government under our Constitution, possessing immense power to impact the lives of the American people,” Pence said in a letter to Congress Wednesday. “The Presidency belongs to the American people, and to them alone. When disputes concerning a presidential election arise, under Federal law, it is the people’s representatives who review the evidence and resolve disputes through a democratic process. Our Founders were deeply skeptical of concentrations of power and created a Republic based on separation of powers and checks and balances under the Constitution of the United States.”
“Vesting the Vice President with unilateral authority to decide presidential contests would be entirely antithetical to that design,” Pence continued. “As a student of history who loves the Constitution and reveres its Framers, I do not believe that the Founders of our country intended to invest the Vice President with unilateral authority to decide which electoral votes should be counted during the Joint Session of Congress, and no Vice President in American history has ever asserted such authority. Instead, Vice Presidents presiding over Joint Sessions have uniformly followed the Electoral Count Act, conducting the proceedings in an orderly manner even where the count resulted in the defeat of their party or their own candidacy.”
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