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House sends Mayorkas impeachment articles to the Senate


House Republicans have sent to the Senate two articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, a step that launches a trial in the Senate as GOP lawmakers seek to highlight President Joe Biden’s handling of immigration policy.

The Democratic-controlled Senate, however, is expected to quickly dismiss the charges without a trial or conduct a speedy trial that ends without a conviction.

Mayorkas, who took the helm at the start of the Biden administration, is the first Cabinet secretary to be impeached in nearly 150 yearsHouse Republicans voted to impeach Mayorkas in February over his handling of the southern border by a narrow margin after failing to do so on their first try.

Republicans targeted Mayorkas as soon as they took control of the House last year, blaming the high number of border crossings on the Homeland Security secretary as the party faced pressure from its base to hold the Biden administration accountable on a key campaign issue.

Multiple constitutional experts, however, have said the evidence Republicans have put forward does not reach the high bar set by the US Constitution of high crimes and misdemeanors. Democrats have argued that the impeachment proceedings have been politically motivated and meritless.

The issue now moves to the Senate where Democratic senators — joined by some Republicans — have said they expect the chamber will move to dismiss the case before a full trial.

If it does not get dismissed outright, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Tuesday evening that senators will be sworn in at 1 p.m. Wednesday as jurors in the proceeding.

The tumultuous way the impeachment process against Mayorkas has played out has led many Republicans to grow even more skeptical about the prospects of impeaching Biden, arguably their top investigative target this Congress. House Republicans do not have the votes or concrete evidence to impeach Biden given their razor-thin majority, leaving that separate impeachment inquiry stalled.

Mayorkas has pushed back against criticism of his leadership, and DHS has called the impeachment effort against him a baseless political attack.

“Despite warnings from fellow Republicans that this baseless impeachment effort ‘distorts the Constitution,’ House Republicans continue to ignore the facts and undermine the Constitution by wasting even more time on this sham impeachment in the Senate,” a DHS spokesperson said in a statement.

Republicans have targeted Mayorkas in an effort to attack Biden and his administration’s handling of the southern border. With border crossings reaching record highs and US cities across the country struggling to manage the influx of migrants, immigration has been a political vulnerability for Biden.

But the White House is trying to flip the script, citing Republicans blocking a bipartisan border deal as evidence that the party isn’t serious about border security.

After months of negotiations, Senate Republicans blocked a major bipartisan border deal earlier this year that would have marked a tough change to immigration law and would have given the president far-reaching powers to restrict illegal migrant crossings at the southern border. The legislation was aimed at closing loopholes in the asylum process, limiting the use of parole for migrants and giving the president new authority to essentially shut down the border to migrants when attempted crossings got too high.

The deal faced relentless attacks from former President Donald Trump and House Speaker Mike Johnson, a Louisiana Republican, who said the bill would be dead on arrival in his chamber – if it ever made it out of the Senate. Trump, who has made immigration a key plank of his presidential campaign, suggested on Truth Social that approving additional resources for the border would make Republicans “look bad.”

Referring to the Mayorkas impeachment proceedings, White House counsel’s office spokesman Ian Sams wrote in a memo, “this effort is a complete waste of time that constitutional and legal experts have said is…

Read More: House sends Mayorkas impeachment articles to the Senate

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