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HomeNewsSenate Dismisses Mayorkas Impeachment Trial, Votes Both Articles “Unconstitutional”

Senate Dismisses Mayorkas Impeachment Trial, Votes Both Articles “Unconstitutional”

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A picture of Mayorkas at the impeachment trial
Source: Pinterest

On Wednesday, April 17, 2024, the Senate dismissed both impeachment articles against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, deeming them “unconstitutional.” The impeachment trial against Mayorkas ended almost as soon as it began.

Notably, the Homeland Security Secretary has long been a target of Republican criticism over his handling of immigration policy and the southern border. However, Democrats remained united in opposition. The Republican-proposed impeachment trial lasted just three hours after the senators were sworn in as jurors.

The votes to kill the articles and adjourn the trial were along party lines, 51-49. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell rose after the gavel came down to say members “set a very dangerous precedent here.” “By doing what we just did, we have, in effect, ignored the directions of the House, which were to have a trial,” McConnell said. 

“We had no evidence, no procedure. It is not a proud day in the history of the Senate.” However, Senate Majority Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., pushed back on such criticism in his press conference after the short-lived proceedings. “What we saw today was a microcosm of this impeachment since day one: hallow, frivolous, political,” Schumer said.

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ALSO READ: Mayorkas Blows Hot at Capitol Hill as Republicans Blame Biden for Border Crisis

“The dangerous precedent was not the one the Republicans were talking about,” he added. “But the one of letting impeachment take the place of policy disagreements.” For context, House Republicans, in February, approved charges accusing Mayorkas of willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law on immigration policy and breach of public trust.

However, the Cabinet secretary, the first impeached in nearly 150 years, called both allegations “baseless” and “politically motivated.” The articles also faced criticism from some Republicans and many Democrats. They claimed the articles were from disputes that did not rise to impeachable offenses.

Before the trial, Republicans demanded a full-scale proceeding and consideration of the impeachment articles take place. However, Democrats said they would seek to dismiss them quickly. Schumer kicked off Wednesday’s proceedings by offering a plan.

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POLL—Should the U.S. Government Create a Path to Citizenship for Undocumented Immigrants?

The plan would have allowed Republicans to debate before Democrats motioned to dismiss. But Republicans quickly objected. “Never before has the Senate dismissed or tabled articles of impeachment,” Sen. Erich Schmitt, R-Mo., said as he rose to reject Schumer’s proposal.

“When the impeached individual was alive and had not resigned.” He added, “I will not assist Senator Schumer in setting our Constitution ablaze and bulldozing 200 years of precedent.” In response, Schumer moved to begin dismissing the articles. 

He said they did not allege conduct that equates to high crime of misdemeanor as the Constitution requires. However, Republican senators tried to move into a closed session or temporarily adjourn. They also suggested moving the proceedings until the day after the November elections, but those motions failed.

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ALSO READ: Iowa Bill Targeting Migrants Leaves Them Anxious As It Passes the House With Overwhelming Majority

Mayorkas previously called the allegations by House Republicans “false.” “The Senate is going to do what the Senate considers to be appropriate as that proceeds,” said Mayorkas. “I’m here in New York City on Wednesday morning, fighting online child sexual exploitation and abuse.”

“We are focused on our mission. Our mission is imperative to keep everyone safe and secure,” Mayorkas added. After the Senate proceedings ended, the White House celebrated the failure of the impeachment trial.

“President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas will continue working to keep America safe,” the White House spokesman Ian Sams said. “Congressional Republicans should join them instead of wasting time on baseless political stunts while killing real bipartisan border security reforms.”

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