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HomeGeneralDemocrats Plot Dismissal As Senate Begins Mayorkas Impeachment Trial

Democrats Plot Dismissal As Senate Begins Mayorkas Impeachment Trial

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As the Senate begins the impeachment trial of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Senate Democrats remain united in opposition. They could end the trial before arguments start on Wednesday, April 17, 2024.

A picture of Mayorkas at the impeachment trial
Source: Pinterest

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer might call votes to dismiss two articles of impeachment against Mayorkas after they swear in senators as jurors midday. However, the move could impede the trial and frustrate Republicans who have demanded that House prosecutors make their case.

For context, the House narrowly voted in February to impeach Mayorkas for his handling of the US-Mexico border. In the two articles, they argued that he “willfully and systematically” refused to enforce immigration laws. House impeachment managers appointed by Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., delivered the charges to the Senate.

On Tuesday, April 16, the impeachment managers read the charges aloud to a captive audience of senators. The entire process could happen within hours on Wednesday as many oppose the impeachment proceedings. Also, majority Democrats have condemned the impeachment trial.

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ALSO READ: Mike Johnson Announces Plans to Send Impeachment Articles Against Mayorkas to Senate

They said the GOP case against Mayorkas doesn’t rise to the “high crimes and misdemeanors” laid out as a bar for impeachment in the Constitution. Also, reports suggest Schumer has enough votes to end the trial immediately if he decides to. Schumer has said he wants to “address this issue as expeditiously as possible.”

“Impeachment should never be used to settle a policy disagreement,” Schumer said. “That would set a horrible precedent for the Congress.” Notably, while signing the articles on Monday, April 15, Johnson said Schumer should convene a trial to “hold those who engineered this crisis to full account.”

Schumer “is the only impediment to delivering accountability for the American people,” Johnson said. “Pursuant to the Constitution, the House demands a trial.” Once the senators are sworn in, the chamber will become the court of impeachment, with Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington presiding.

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Murray is the senior-most member of the majority party who will replace the vice president. How Democrats will proceed at the trial is still unclear. Impeachment rules generally allow the Senate majority to decide how to manage the trial. However, Schumer has not revealed his plans.

Senate Republicans will likely try to raise objections if Schumer calls votes to dismiss or table. However, they cannot block a dismissal if most Democrats have the votes. In any case, Republicans would not be able to win the support of the two-thirds of the Senate needed to remove Mayorkas from office.

Democrats control the Senate, 51-49, and appear united against the impeachment effort. Also, not one House Democrat supported it, either. While most Republicans oppose quick dismissal, some have hinted they could vote with Democrats. With the in-house division among Republicans, the case doesn’t stand a chance.

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ALSO READ: Mike Johnson Teams Up With Key Republicans Amid Threat to Speakership

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said he wasn’t sure what he would do if there were a move to dismiss the trial. However, Romney said he wants to express at least his view that “Mayorkas has done a terrible job.” The two articles argue that Mayorkas refused to enforce existing law. 

In addition, they say he breached the public trust by lying to Congress and saying the border was secure. If the Senate were to proceed to an impeachment trial, it would be the third in five years. Democrats impeached President Donald Trump twice, once over his dealings with Ukraine. 

The second time was in the days after the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. However, the Senate acquitted Trump both times.

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