Mike Pence will attend Joe Biden’s upcoming inauguration, multiple media reports said Saturday, with the vice president becoming the latest loyalist to abandon an increasingly isolated President Donald Trump.
Relations between Trump and Pence, previously one of the fickle president’s staunchest advocates, have plummeted since Wednesday, when the vice president formally announced Biden’s victory in the November election.
A mob of far-right protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol the same day in a failed attempt to prevent Congress from certifying Biden’s victory, in a riot attributed to Trump that left five dead.
Several media reports on Saturday cited senior administration officials as saying that Pence, who was forced to take shelter from intruders during the riot, had decided to attend Biden’s January 20 inauguration.
The president-elect earlier in the week said Pence would be welcome at his formal inauguration, which will take place in a reduced format due to the coronavirus.
“I think it’s important that, as far as possible, we stick to historical precedents for how management changes should be sustained,” Biden told reporters.
“We would be honored to have him there and to advance the transition.”
In his latest tweet before being removed from Twitter on Friday, Trump said he would not be attending the inauguration.
The outgoing president has been accused of provoking the violence on Wednesday, and now faces an unprecedented second impeachment trial, expected to begin on Monday.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned that Democrats would initiate the process unless Trump resigns or Pence invokes the 25th Amendment, in which the cabinet removes the president from office.
While Pence has not spoken publicly on the issue, the New York Times reported Thursday that he was against invoking the mechanism, never used before in American history.