Senate To Begin Impeachment Trial For Alejandro Mayorkas April 11

The trial could be over very quickly due to bipartisan Senate opposition to ousting President Joe Biden's secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

WASHINGTON ― House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) announced on Thursday that he plans to send articles of impeachment against Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to the Senate on April 10, calling on Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to hold a full trial and hear GOP arguments in favor of Mayorkas being ousted from his job.

“He refused to comply with the requirements of the immigration laws passed by Congress ... Throughout his tenure, he has repeatedly lied to Congress and the American people about the scope of the crisis and his role in it,” Johnson and the 11 House Republican lawmakers who were appointed to serve as impeachment managers wrote in a letter to Schumer.

“To table articles of impeachment without ever hearing a single argument or reviewing a piece of evidence would be a violation of our constitutional order and an affront to the American people whom we all serve,” they added.

There’s no indication Senate Democrats will heed that argument. Schumer has been harshly dismissive of the House GOP’s vote earlier this year impeaching Mayorkas, calling it a partisan “sham” that failed to produce evidence of a high crime or misdemeanor.

“The one and only reason for this impeachment is for Speaker Johnson to further appease Donald Trump,” Schumer said last month.

Schumer’s office reiterated on Thursday that the Senate will receive the articles of impeachment against Mayorkas, as required by the U.S. Constitution, and that senators will be sworn in as jurors in the trial on the following day, April 11, with Senate President Pro Tempore Patty Murray (D-Wash.) serving as the presiding officer.

However, the trial isn’t likely to proceed much further beyond that ceremonial stage. Multiple Senate Democrats and even some Senate Republicans have indicated that they view the Mayorkas impeachment as a waste of time and as a purely partisan exercise with no basis in reality.

“I just want to get rid it of as quickly as possible. You go down that path that’s a slippery slope, you’re never stopped,” Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) told reporters in February when asked if he would vote to dismiss the case.

Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) called it the “dumbest exercise and use of time” and “dead on arrival” in the Senate.

“I haven’t heard yet any evidence to suggest that there’s been a constitutional standard met for impeachment,” added Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah). “We’ll see what they come up with, but so far they’ve got nothing.”

Senate Democrats could move to dismiss the trial shortly after it begins April 11, before the House GOP impeachment managers present their case to the Senate. All that vote will need to pass is a simple majority of senators ― and Democrats control 51 seats. Some Republicans may also join them.

Republicans tried to dismiss the articles of impeachment against former President Donald Trump after he was impeached for helping incite the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol, but Democrats and a handful of Republicans in the Senate rejected that effort. Trump was eventually acquitted after about a month of deliberations.

The House GOP vote to impeach Mayorkas barely squeaked by a margin of 214 to 213. The two articles of impeachment accuse Mayorkas of “willful” refusal to comply with immigration laws, and of breaching public trust. They blame him for the government failing to adequately manage a surge in migration at the U.S.-Mexico border, in what is essentially a policy dispute with President Joe Biden. But since House Republicans don’t have the votes to impeach Biden, they decided to go after Mayorkas instead.

The only other time Congress has impeached a cabinet secretary was in 1876, when it impeached Secretary of War William Belknap for allegedly taking bribes.

Biden also criticized Republicans for moving forward with the impeachment effort.

“History will not look kindly on House Republicans for their blatant act of unconstitutional partisanship that has targeted an honorable public servant in order to play petty political games,” he said in a statement last month.

“Instead of staging political stunts like this, Republicans with genuine concerns about the border should want Congress to deliver more border resources and stronger border security,” he added.


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