After Capitol riot, Kaine says his emphasis is on a safe inauguration as impeachment looms


PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says the impeachment of President Donald Trump will move forward unless Vice President Mike Pence invokes the 25th Amendment to remove the president. Pence has given no indication he would do so, therefore the House will likely approve and send an article of impeachment to the Senate before this week’s end.

Despite the potential for a history-making second impeachment of the same president, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) says right now, it’s safety first.

“Wednesday the 6th [of January] was a day that I never imagined, I’ll never forget, and I never want to repeat,” Kaine said, referring to a mob of pro-Trump rioters who breached the capitol, damaged property, stole government items and threatened the lives of Pence and other lawmakers.

“The most important job on our shoulders right now is making sure that there’s an inauguration that is peaceful and safe,” Kaine said.

Kaine is drawing on his experience from 12 years ago when he was governor of Virginia during President Barack Obama’s inauguration.

“It was a massive crowd event, with security and risks and threats, and the two governors, Virginia and Maryland and the Washington DC mayor worked together with [Department of Homeland Security],” Kaine explained.

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser also remembers Obama’s inauguration, and the women’s rally attended by hundreds of thousands of people the day after Trump’s inauguration in 2017.

“People coming to demonstrate peacefully are very different than the people we saw [who] stormed the Capitol the other day. And I think that it will be shown that those people were organized, trained people who went into that building,” Bowser said.

Between 5,000 and 10,000 National Guard troops are expected to be in place on Jan. 20, the day of the inauguration. Kaine says gauging the right amount of military presence will be tricky.

“We don’t want to have an overly-militarized inauguration — that itself would send a signal that might not be right,” Kaine said.

There’s already talk on social media of armed protests, but the U.S. Secret Service says it will be ready.

“Mass civil disturbance is something that we plan for. We have contingencies in place,” said Secret Service Agent Michael Plati.

“People have to see a very different face of the Capitol on that day than they did on Jan. 6,” Kaine said. “Americans need to see something different, and the world needs to see something different.”

The Washington Monument has been closed because of credible threats, and online messages are calling for armed protests at all 50 state capitols.

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