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30 Jul 2017

Mike Pence is 'planning' for his presidential inauguration, senior Democrat claims

US Vice President Mike Pence is preparing for Donald Trump’s impeachment, a congresswoman from their rival Democrat Party has claimed.

“Mike Pence is somewhere planning an inauguration”, Maxine Waters wrote on Twitter.

“Priebus and Spicer will lead the transition” she added, referring to the two latest members of Trump’s White House to resign.

Former chief of staff Reince Priebus stepped down and Sean Spicer resigned as press secretary both stepped down from their roles in recent weeks.

A long time critic of Mr Trump, Ms Waters was the first US politician to claim that the salacious sex acts alleged in the unverified “Russian blackmail dossier” against the US leader were “absolutely true”.

The document, alleged the Russian state has compromising sexual and financial information on the President.

She has also repeatedlycalled for his impeachment.

“He’s someone that I’m committed to getting impeached!” Mrs Waters told a Washington bookshop audience in May. “He’s a liar! He’s a cheat! He’s a con man! We’ve got to stop his ass.”

Two Democrat congressmen, Al Green and Brad Sherman, filed the first impeachment articles against Mr Trump on 12 July.

They claimed Mr Trump obstructed justice by firing FBI Director James Comey during his investigation into Russian interference in the election.

But for an impeachment trial to go ahead, a majority in the House of Representatives and a two-thirds majority in the Senate must approve it.

With both the House and Senate under Republican control until at least the mid-term elections in November 2018, this is unlikely.

Mr Pence has distanced himself from the recent scandals rocking the White House, including revelations of Donald Trump Jr’s meeting with a Russian lawyer during the election campaign.

The Vice President is "not focused on stories about the campaign - especially those pertaining to the time before he joined the campaign" said Mr Pence's spokesman in a statement, shortly after they emerged.

“Donald Trump is someone that found his way to the presidency of the United States of America — I still don’t know how.”

Only two American presidents have been impeached, and in neither case did it lead to their removal from office. Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson were both exonerated by the Senate and completed their term in office.

Richard Nixon resigned following the Watergate scandal before Congress could impeach him.

Fourteen vice presidents have later become president - eight of those because of the death of the sitting president. Five became president during a following term and one following the resignation of the sitting president.

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