By BRIAN A. HOWEY, in Indianapolis

1. Pressure on Pence to invoke 25th

NBC News  is reporting that House Democrats have given Vice President Mike Pence an ultimatum: Invoke the 25th Amendment to get President Trump out of office ASAP, or they will trigger a second impeachment, beginning Tuesday. NBC is reporting that Pence is not inclined to opt for the 25th, an amendment written by the late U.S. Sen. Birch Bayh. It calls for the vice president to initiate the process to temporarily remove a president incapable to fulfilling his functions, and it would take a majority of the cabinet to go into effect. "We are calling on the Vice President to respond within 24 hours," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in her letter to Pence.

In a brief session Monday, House Republicans blocked a measure calling on Vice President Pence and the Cabinet to remove Trump under the 25th Amendment, a move that ensures a vote in the full House, the Washington Post  reported. This comes as an angered and disheartened Pence has not talked with the president he has loyally served for four years since the incident, according to multiple national media reports. In one of the greatest ironies in modern times, both Pence and Pelosi were targeted by the insurrection mob that overwhelmed the U.S. Capitol on Jn. 6.

Associated Press: Under battle flags bearing Donald Trump’s name, the Capitol’s attackers pinned a bloodied police officer in a doorway, his twisted face and screams captured on video. They mortally wounded another officer with a blunt weapon and body-slammed a third over a railing into the crowd. “Hang Mike Pence!” the insurrectionists chanted as they pressed inside, beating police with pipes. They demanded House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s whereabouts, too. They hunted any and all lawmakers: “Where are they?” Outside, makeshift gallows stood, complete with sturdy wooden steps and the noose. Guns and pipe bombs had been stashed in the vicinity. Only days later is the extent of the danger from one of the darkest episodes in American democracy coming into focus. The sinister nature of the assault has become evident, betraying the crowd as a force determined to occupy the inner sanctums of Congress and run down leaders — Trump’s vice president and the Democratic House speaker among them.

2. Holcomb, Crouch, Rokita sworn in

Gov. Eric Holcomb, Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and Attorney General Todd Rokita were quietly sworn in this morning at the Indiana State Museum due to the pandemic. Holcomb said, "Upon taking his oath for a second time, my favorite President, Abraham Lincoln, said that there is 'less on occasion for an extended address as there was at the first.' In his second inaugural, even as as he focused on the issues of slavery and the Civil War, Lincoln rightly looked to the future. At this moment, our moment, even knowing full well the awful toll of COVID-19 and acknowledging that we are still in its deadly grip, it's important to now, look to the future, a future for our state and our citizens that I believe is filled with hope and opportunity. So we will remain laser focused on managing our way through the pandemic and rolling out the vaccines with all the energy and resources our administration has. I will further up what we are doing in my State of the State address just next week. But I'm reminded that in the midst of that Civil War, the United States was constructing the first trans-continental railroad, even as the country was tearing itself apart, we were binding ourselves in ways that proved far more meaningful and durable." He added, "We are steadily clawing our way back. For Indiana, the future is now."

3. Rokita tests 'free speech'

Attorney General Rokita tweeted on Friday, "I will always be for our President." He tagged President Trump and staffer Dan Scavino. It came as Twitter permanently suspended President Trump's Twitter account for spreading insurrection and falsehoods. Rokita then released this statement after Trump followers had their accounts suspended, saying he was simply testing "free speech" limits. "As most know, I have been a supporter of the President and his policies. Yet also like most, I am not an absolute supporter of any human being," Rokita wrote. "To be clear, I also condemn the Capitol violence in the same way and terms that I have condemned the violence last summer."
 
4. Biden focuses on pandemic

President-elect Joe Biden is steering clear of an impeachment of President Trump and the invocation of the 25th Amendment, putting his focus on the raging pandemic that has been claiming 4,000 American lives a day. It comes as former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said that Operation Warp Speed" is not working. "We really need to get this vaccine out more quickly because this is really our only tool, our only backstop against the spread of these new variants. If we can get a lot of people vaccinated quickly, we might be able to get enough protective immunity into the population that this stops spreading at the rate that it is," Gottlieb said in an interview with "Face the Nation. "So, we need to acknowledge that it's not working. We need to hit the reset and adopt a new strategy in trying to get out to patients."

5. Second Pence aide sounds off

A second aide to Vice President Pence said she left the administration before things deteriorated further. Alyssa Farah resigned in early December as White House communications director after serving as Pence's spokeswoman. Farah told Politico Magazine: "I made the decision to step down in December because I saw where this was heading, and I wasn’t comfortable being a part of sharing this message to the public that the election results might go a different way. I didn’t see that to be where the facts lay." She joins Olivia Troye, who quit Pence's White House coronavirus task force last summer, saying, "Words matter, especially when you’re the President of the United States,” adding, “For him, it was all about the election. He just can’t seem to care about anyone else besides himself.”

Thanks for reading, folks. It's The Atomic!