House Delivers Mayorkas Impeachment Articles to Senate
House Delivers Mayorkas Impeachment Articles to Senate

By Mark Tapscott

The House of Representatives on April 16 formally presented to the Senate two counts of impeachment against Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas over the border crisis. The process kicks off a trial in the upper chamber starting on April 17, but it is expected to be quickly dealt with by Democrats before a full hearing.

Eleven House members previously named as impeachment managers walked from the lower chamber through Statuary Hall in the Capitol and then to the Senate in a brief ceremony that has been repeated only 17 times since the first Congress in 1789. House Democrats did so twice after impeaching former President Donald Trump in 2020 and 2021.

The House of Representatives impeachment team delivers the Articles of Impeachment of Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Alejandro Mayorkas to the Senate in Washington on April 16, 2024. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)

Eight of the 17 Senate impeachment trials resulted in convictions, while nine ended without convictions. A two-thirds majority of the Senate is required to convict an impeached officer of the federal government. Neither former President Donald Trump, former President Bill Clinton in 1998, nor President Andrew Johnson in 1868 were convicted.

After walking the articles to the Senate, the Republican prosecutors appointed by House Speaker Mike Johnson stood in the well of the Senate. The Senate sergeant-at-arms, the chamber’s top security official, called the session to order with a “hear ye! hear ye!” and a notice that “all persons are commanded to keep silence, on pain of imprisonment.”

The House Homeland Security Committee chairman, Mark Green, a Tennessee Republican who is one of the impeachment managers, read the articles aloud as most senators sat in their seats, following along with their own paper copies.

Republicans have argued there should be a full trial. As Mr. Johnson signed the articles Monday in preparation for sending them across the Capitol, he said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) should convene a trial to “hold those who engineered this crisis to full account.”

Mr. Schumer “is the only impediment to delivering accountability for the American people,” Johnson said. “Pursuant to the Constitution, the House demands a trial.”

The senate majority leader is expected to enter a motion either to dismiss or table the two impeachment counts against Mr. Mayorkas. Mr. Schumer has previously described the House impeachment action as a “sham.”

Earlier on April 15, Mr. Schumer criticized the impeachment as setting an “awful precedent” for Congress.

“Impeachment should never be used to settle a policy disagreement. Talk about awful precedence—this would set an awful precedent for Congress,” the majority leader said on the Senate floor.

“Every time there’s a policy disagreement in the House, they send it over here to tie the Senate in knots to do an impeachment trial? That’s absurd. That’s an abuse of the process,” he said.

Senate Republicans, led by senators Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Lee of Utah, John Kennedy of Louisiana, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Eric Schmitt of Missouri, and Roger Marshall of Kansas will attempt to bring multiple points of order against Mr. Schumer’s motion to dismiss.

If any one of the GOP points of order is approved by a simple majority of the Senate, the motion will be defeated and the trial will commence. But Ms. Murray is not obligated under Senate rules to recognize any of the senators offering points of order, so none of their objections may be heard on the Senate floor.

Should the Senate trial go forward, the House managers will present their evidence, and defenders of Mr. Mayorkas from among the Senate Democratic majority will respond. At some point thereafter, a rollcall vote will be taken, which is expected to fail to reach the required two-thirds for conviction.

At that point, Mr. Mayorkas will be able to continue performing his duties but he will go into the history books as only the second presidential cabinet member to be impeached.

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

Article I of the measure accuses Mr. Mayorkas of a “willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law” and claims that “in large part because of his unlawful conduct, millions of aliens have illegally entered the United States on an annual basis with many unlawfully remaining in the United States.”

“His refusal to obey the law is not only an offense against the separation of powers in the Constitution of the United States, it also threatens our national security and has had a dire impact on communities across the country,” it reads.

Article II accuses Mr. Mayorkas of breaching the public’s trust by having “knowingly made false statements, and knowingly obstructed lawful oversight of the Department of Homeland Security, principally to obfuscate the results of his willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) speaks to the press after the Democratic Party’s weekly luncheon at the U.S. Capitol, on March 6, 2024. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

The 20-page impeachment resolution contains two articles with multiple examples of laws Mr. Mayorkas is alleged to have ignored or refused to enforce and illustrations of his blocking congressional oversight, including not producing requested copies of documents.

Democratic House impeachment managers, led by Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), walk out of the Senate Chamber in the Capitol, on Feb. 13, 2021. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo)

The House managers, all Republicans, include Mr. Green, House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Reps. Mike McCaul of Texas, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Clay Higgins of Louisiana, Ben Cline of Virginia, Michael Guest of Mississippi, Andrew Garbarino of New York, August Pfluger of Texas, Harriet Hageman of Wyoming, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, and Laurel Lee of Florida.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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