House to delay sending Mayorkas impeachment articles to Senate

FILE – Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testifies during a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee on Capitol Hill, Nov. 8, 2023, in Washington.
Published April 9,  2024

Speaker Mike Johnson will delay sending the House’s articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to the Senate this week as planned after Republican senators requested more time Tuesday to build support for holding a full trial.

The sudden change of plans cast fresh doubts on the proceedings, the historic first impeachment of a Cabinet secretary in roughly 150 years. Seeking to rebuke the Biden administration’s handling of the southern border, House Republicans impeached Mayorkas in February but delayed sending the articles while they finished work on government funding legislation.

Johnson had planned to send the impeachment charges to the Senate on Wednesday evening. But as it became clear that Democrats, who hold the majority of the chamber, had the votes to quickly dismiss them, Senate Republicans requested that Johnson delay until next week. They hoped the tactic would prolong the process.

While Republicans argued Tuesday that forgoing a full Senate trial would break precedent, most Senate Republicans voted to do just that when Donald Trump, the former president, was impeached a second time on charges he incited an insurrection in the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. Their effort to halt the proceedings failed. Trump was ultimately acquitted in the Senate trial.

“Our members want to have an opportunity not only to debate but also to have some votes on issues they want to raise,” said South Dakota Sen. John Thune, the second-ranking Republican Senate leader. Under procedural rules, senators are required to convene as jurors the day after the articles of impeachment are transmitted for a trial.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. D-N.Y., who has decried the impeachment push as a sham, suggested Democrats still plan to deal with the charges quickly.

“We’re ready to go whenever they are. We are sticking with our plan. We’re going to move this as expeditiously as possible,” Schumer said.

“Impeachment should never be used to settle policy disagreements,” he told reporters earlier Tuesday.



RELATED: Republicans in Congress delay Mayorkas impeachment proceedings

Sen. Mike Lee, a Utah Republican, speaks at a Senate Republican press conference on April 9, 2024. (C-SPAN screenshot.)
Published April 9,  2024

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Republicans will delay until next week their delivery to the Senate of the two articles of impeachment against Homeland Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, a spokesperson for House Speaker Mike Johnson said Tuesday.

“To ensure the Senate has adequate time to perform its constitutional duty, the House will transmit the articles of impeachment to the Senate next week,” the spokesperson wrote in a late afternoon statement. “There is no reason whatsoever for the Senate to abdicate its responsibility to hold an impeachment trial.”

Johnson, Republican of Louisiana, and 11 impeachment managers had informed Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer that they planned to walk over the two articles of impeachment to the Senate Wednesday, but postponed after a request from Senate Republicans.

The articles accuse Mayorkas of a “willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law,” and of a breach of public trust.



RELATED: Schumer vows to crush Mayorkas impeachment trial

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer is shown in this undated file photo. (Associated Press/File)
Published April 9,  2024

Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer said Tuesday that Democrats will move to derail an impeachment trial for Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, saying the charges against him are bogus.

Mr. Schumer did not say exactly what method Democrats will use, but other senators said it could involve either tabling or moving to dismiss the case, which could be done through a majority vote.

Republicans decried the expected move that would be the first time in history the Senate shirked a duty to conduct a trial after the House impeached an official.

But Mr. Schumer said he considers the case against Mr. Mayorkas to be illegitimate, and he seemed confident of having the votes to succeed.

“We’re going to try and resolve this issue as quickly as possible,” Mr. Schumer, New York Democrat, told reporters. “Impeachment should never be used to settle policy disagreements.”

The Senate will receive the articles from House impeachment managers Wednesday at 5 p.m., and senators are to be sworn in as jurors on Thursday.

Usually that would commence a trial, and that’s what Republican leaders demanded.

“This is an absolute debacle at the southern border. It is a national security crisis,” said Senate Minority Whip John Thune of South Dakota, the second-ranking Republican. “There needs to be accountability, and the Senate needs to conduct a trial where senators have an opportunity to examine the evidence and record and come to a conclusion.”

Mr. Mayorkas is the first sitting Cabinet member to be impeached. The House approved two articles charging him with willfully subverting immigration enforcement laws and breaching the public trust by lying to Congress and the public about the border and his efforts to control it.




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Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter
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