Vice President Mike Pence is expected to go on an overseas trip after he oversees the final confirmation of President-elect Joe Biden’s election win on January 6, according to Politico.
Pence will preside over a session of Congress that will formally affirm the results of the Electoral College.
The session could put Pence at odds with Trump, as it did Attorney General Bill Barr when he disputed Trump’s false voter fraud claims.
Trump has repeatedly lost dozens of court cases and has failed to show any evidence of fraud that would change the result of the election.
Some Trump allies have suggested protesting the Electoral College results in some states, though Pence allies say there is no reason to doubt that the Senate would affirm the results and Pence would act appropriately.
“By no means is this going to be an easy moment for the vice president or president to stomach,” one administration official said.
Pence plans to skip town:
Pence, who has not left the country since the coronavirus pandemic began, is planning to leave for a trip to the Middle East and Europe for about a week on January 6.
Pence is scheduled to travel to Bahrain, Israel, and Poland.
“It’s a tactic Pence has used to navigate the final days of Trump’s presidency: stay out of the spotlight and insulate himself from his boss’s baseless election-fraud crusade, all while still finding ways to burnish his own credentials and technically toe the party line,” Politico noted.
An administration official said the trip had not been confirmed.
McConnell warns GOP against challenge:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has sought to nip any talk of an Electoral College challenge in the bud.
McConnell warned Republicans during a private call not to object because it would force the party to take a “terrible vote.”
Fellow Republican leaders sided with McConnell on the call.
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito said none of the Republicans on the call objected.
"There wasn’t any pushback to it," she told Politico. "There’s wasn’t anyone saying: oh wait a minute. That didn’t occur."