Pence Vows ‘Safe Inauguration’ For Swearing-In Of POTUS- And VP-Elect

Vice President Mike Pence readS the final certification of Electoral College votes cast in November's presidential election during a joint session of Congress after working through the night, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. Violent protesters loyal to President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol Wednesday, disrupting the process. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, Pool)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 07: Vice President Mike Pence reads the final certification of Electoral College votes cast in November's presidential election during a joint session of Congress, after working through the n... WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 07: Vice President Mike Pence reads the final certification of Electoral College votes cast in November's presidential election during a joint session of Congress, after working through the night, at the Capitol on January 7, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress reconvened to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump, hours after a pro-Trump mob broke into the U.S. Capitol and disrupted proceedings. (Photo by J. Scott Applewhite - Pool/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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January 14, 2021 6:46 p.m.

Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday vowed “an orderly transition” and “safe inauguration” for President-elect Joe Biden and VP-elect Kamala Harris next week during a Federal Emergency Management Agency briefing.

Pence began the briefing by acknowledging the deadly insurrection at the Capitol last week that left five dead. Following the House’s vote to impeach President Trump for “incitement of insurrection” on Wednesday, Trump issued a video message condemning the violence at the Capitol, but did not take responsibility for the mob he incited. Trump did not address the House’s vote to impeach him for the second time in the video message.

“We all lived through that day of January the 6th, and — as the President made clear yesterday — we are committed to an orderly transition and to a safe inauguration,” Pence said. “The American people deserve nothing less.”

Pence also referred to Biden and Harris as President-elect and Vice President-elect, respectively, during the briefing at FEMA on Wednesday.

“We’re going to ensure that we have a safe inauguration. That President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are sworn in as the new president and vice president of the United States,” Pence said. “In a manner consistent with our history, with our traditions, in a way that gives honor to the American people and the United States.”

Pence and Trump were estranged in the days following the Capitol riots, but reportedly are on speaking terms again as of Monday. Before the deadly insurrection at the Capitol on the day of the joint session of Congress ratifying Biden’s electoral victory, Pence informed Trump that he could not reject the results of the election as the presiding officer of the Senate — a move that earned Trump’s ire.

During the same briefing at FEMA on Thursday, FBI Director Chris Wray said that investigators have identified more than 200 suspects in their investigation of the Capitol riots and that more than 100 individuals have been arrested.

“We know who you are if you’re out there, and FBI agents are coming to find you,” Wray said.

Wray also warned against traveling to D.C. in light of the pro-Trump mob that breached the Capitol last week.

“My advice to people who might be inclined to follow in the footsteps of those who engaged in the kind of activity we saw last week is stay home,” Wray said. “Look at what’s happening now to the people who were involved in the Capitol siege.”

Wray said the FBI has “confidence” in its preparation and security for Biden’s inauguration next week.

“Our posture is aggressive. It’s going to stay that way though the inauguration,” Wray said. “So in that vein, we and our partners have already arrested more than 100 individuals for their criminal activities in last week’s siege of the Capitol and continue to pursue countless other related investigations.”

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