Senate Dismisses Mayorkas Impeachment Articles

The Senate dismissed both articles of impeachment against Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and ended the trial. Senate Democrats argued that the articles were unconstitutional, while Republicans argued for a full trial.

Senate Democrats on April 17 voted to dismiss two impeachment articles against Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, less than three hours after his impeachment trial began.

The dismissals, made in party-line votes, came after vocal objections by Senate Republicans who said not allowing the impeachment to go to a full trial flouted the Constitution and long-held precedent. It is the first time in history the upper chamber has moved to dispose of a trial before allowing the impeachment articles to be heard and votes on whether to convict or acquit.

House Republicans in February voted to impeach Mr. Mayorkas over his handling of the border crisis that has seen more than 8 million illegal immigrants enter the country since President Joe Biden took office. The first impeachment article accused Mr. Mayorkas of refusing to enforce immigration laws; the second article charged him with breaching public trust and making false statements to Congress.

Shortly after all 100 senators were sworn in as jurors for the trial, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) raised points of order to effectively dismiss each of the two articles of impeachment against Mr. Mayorkas on the grounds that they were “unconstitutional.”

The impeachment articles, Mr. Schumer contended, did not meet the threshold of “high crimes and misdemeanors” required under the Constitution. Mr. Schumer has previously described Mr. Mayorkas’s impeachment as a “sham,” an awful precedent for Congress,” and the result of a “policy disagreement.”

The Senate voted on party lines 51–48 to dismiss the first impeachment article. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) voted present.

The chamber later voted on party lines 51–49 to dismiss the second impeachment article.

Senate Republicans raised a series of motions to thwart Mr. Schumer’s moves, arguing the Constitution required a full impeachment trial. Each of those attempts was defeated in party-line votes.

Sen. Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.) said the Senate majority leader was “setting our Constitution ablaze and bulldozing 200 years of precedent.”

Mr. Schumer, said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), is putting forth a “vote on political expediency.”

“History will not judge this moment well,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said.

Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) said that President Joe Biden and Mr. Mayorkas’s policies have led to “the worst border crisis in American history”

He noted that 357 of the 7.6 million illegal aliens that have been apprehended during the Biden administration are on the terrorist watchlist. The Senate had a responsibility to hear the impeachment articles, Mr. Thune said.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) welcomed the Senate’s dismissal, claiming it “proves definitively that there was no evidence or Constitutional grounds to justify impeachment.”

“It’s time for Congressional Republicans to support the Department’s vital mission instead of wasting time playing political games and standing in the way of commonsense, bipartisan border reforms,” a department spokesperson said in a statement.

17 Senate Impeachment Trials

There have been 17 Senate impeachment trials since the first Congress in 1789, with eight resulting in convictions. A two-thirds majority of the Senate is required to convict an impeached officer of the federal government.

President Donald Trump (in 2019 and 2021), President Bill Clinton (in 1998), and President Andrew Johnson (in 1868) were impeached but not convicted. Mr. Mayorkas is only the second presidential Cabinet appointee to be impeached by the House.

The first, Secretary of War William Belknap, resigned in 1876 after the House passed five counts of impeachment against him. The Senate failed to convict Belknap, who was appointed by President Ulysses S. Grant.

Senate Republicans had been pushing Mr. Schumer for a week not to block the trial. In a news conference on April 16 shortly after the 11 House impeachment managers appeared in the Senate for the reading of the two impeachment counts, Mr. Cruz pointed to the seriousness of the impeachment issue.

“The stakes of this impeachment are not some technical violation of a law, but rather an enormous and growing threat to the lives and safety of millions of Americans. Every year under Joe Biden and Mayorkas, we have seen millions of illegal aliens crossing into this country,” Mr. Cruz said.

“Mr. Mayorkas actively aided and abetted the criminal invasion of this country by criminal drug cartels and illegal aliens. The consequences have been day after day after day migrants dying, 853 in the last year. The consequences have been day after day after day, little boys and girls being brutalized by human traffickers.

“The consequences have been day after day after day, hundreds and even thousands of women being sexually assaulted by human traffickers. The consequences, which the House managers read out loud in the Articles of Impeachment, have been enriching the Mexican drug cartels to a level never before seen in history.”

The Texas Republican said that in 2018, the cartels made about $500 million in drug and trafficking profits, but in 2022, the second year of the Biden presidency and Mr. Mayorkas’s tenure at the DHS, the cartels’ profits exceeded $22 billion.

“The single greatest friend the human traffickers have ever had has been Joe Biden and Alejandro Mayorkas because, under their open-border policies, the drug cartels have seen their revenues rise 2,600 percent,” Mr. Cruz said.

NTD Photo
Acting clerk of the House Kevin McCumber (R) and Sergeant at Arms of the House of Representatives William McFarland lead the 11 House Republican impeachment managers, including Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green (R-Texas), as they transmit the articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to the Senate in a ceremonial procession through the U.S. Capitol Rotunda in Washington on April 16, 2024. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

 From The Epoch Times

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