Mayorkas Impeachment Articles to Be Sent to Senate on April 10
Mayorkas Impeachment Articles to Be Sent to Senate on April 10

By Jackson Richman, Mark Tapscott and Joseph Lord

The House of Representatives will send the articles of impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to the Senate on April 10, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) has announced.

In a March 28 letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Mr. Johnson asked Mr. Schumer to schedule a trial “expeditiously.”

Mr. Johnson wrote that Mr. Mayorkas “refused to comply with the requirements of the immigration laws passed by Congress” and “directed, through a series of memoranda, DHS employees to violate U.S. immigration laws.”

Mr. Johnson accused Mr. Mayorkas of having “repeatedly lied to Congress and the American people about the scope of the [border] crisis and his role in it.”

Mr. Johnson said that there was a basis for the February impeachment, as the “Framers of our Constitution gave Congress this authority for scenarios where executive branch officials, who are responsible for executing the laws passed by Congress, flout the law substituting their own judgment for that of Congress.”

He called on the Senate to fulfill what he called its “constitutional obligation to hold” a trial.

It’s expected that the Senate will dismiss the trial.

Other members of Congress who signed onto the letter are House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green (R-Tenn.), House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas), and Reps. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), Clay Higgins (R-La.), Ben Cline (R-Va.), Michael Guest (R-Texas), Andrew Garbarino (R-N.Y.), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), August Pfluger (R-Texas), Harriet Hageman (R-Wyo.), and Laurel Lee (R-Fla.).

Mr. Mayorkas was only the second presidential Cabinet member to be impeached in the 236-year history of the U.S. government.

Mr. Mayorkas, who was appointed by President Joe Biden and confirmed by the Democratic Senate in 2021, was impeached on two counts relating to his handling of the border crisis by a vote of 214–213, with all but three Republicans voting in favor of and all Democrats opposing the action. The chamber burst into applause after the result was announced.

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

The House action came exactly a week after the lower chamber of Congress failed to impeach the embattled Homeland Security secretary on a 215–215 vote. That tally was updated to 214–216 when Rep. Blake Moore (R-Utah) changed his vote to a “no” in a parliamentary move to enable the House to reconsider the impeachment resolution.

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.), who was absent from the vote last week because he was being treated for blood cancer, cast the deciding vote on Feb. 13.

Three Republicans who opposed the impeachment resolution last week voted the same the second time around. They are Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), and Rep. Tom McLintock (R-Calif.).

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) denounced the result.

“House Republicans will be remembered by history for trampling on the Constitution for political gain rather than working to solve the serious challenges at our border,” Mia Ehrenberg, a DHS spokesman, said in a statement after the vote.

“Without a shred of evidence or legitimate Constitutional grounds, and despite bipartisan opposition, House Republicans have falsely smeared a dedicated public servant who has spent more than 20 years enforcing our laws and serving our country. Secretary Mayorkas and the Department of Homeland Security will continue working every day to keep Americans safe.”

President Biden also decried the impeachment, calling it a “blatant act of unconstitutional partisanship” on the part of House Republicans, whom he accused of “playing politics with the border.”

He defended Mr. Mayorkas and his administration’s handling of the border crisis and chastised House Republicans for recently rejecting a Senate foreign aid package that included border security measures.

“Congress needs to act to give me, Secretary Mayorkas, and my administration the tools and resources needed to address the situation at the border,” the president said in a statement.

Mr. Schumer’s office said in a statement: “As we have said previously, after the House impeachment managers present the articles of impeachment to the Senate, Senators will be sworn in as jurors in the trial the next day. Senate President Pro Tempore Patty Murray will preside.”

However, that does not mean a trial, let alone a vote on whether to acquit or convict Mr. Mayorkas, will occur. But the swearing-in must occur, at the very least.

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