The House presents articles of impeachment against Mayorkas and calls for a trial | ET REALITY


After two months of delay, House Republicans on Tuesday delivered to the Senate the articles of impeachment against Alejandro N. Mayorkas, the secretary of Homeland Security, while demanding a full trial of the first acting Cabinet secretary to be indicted. by Congress.

Constitutional scholars They have described the case against Mayorkas as unfounded, and the Democrats who control the Senate have made clear that they want to shorten a lengthy trial in favor of a quick vote to dismiss the charges against him. But Republicans have moved on. with the articleswho accuse the secretary of willfully refusing to enforce border laws and violating the public trust.

“Over the past nearly four years, we have watched Secretary Mayorkas intentionally cede operational control of our border to drug cartels,” President Mike Johnson said Tuesday, describing the chaos at the country’s southern border as he urged the Senate to take on the case.

“We have seen a large number of terrorists found at the border,” he added. “We have seen gang members and people with criminal records be released in our country. “We have seen fentanyl flood the border.”

He accused Mayorkas and President Biden of willfully failing in their responsibilities to secure the border.

“He and Joe Biden engineered this catastrophe,” Johnson said. “They allowed it. “Apparently they wanted it.”

On Tuesday afternoon, the 11 House Republicans named to prosecute the case against Mayorkas made the ceremonial walk through the Capitol to present the charges, which they read aloud on the floor as all senators sat silently in their desks.

The Republican case against Mayorkas does not accuse him of any specific criminal conduct, but rather amounts to an attempt to fire an administration official who is pursuing policies they oppose and who they say is failing at his job. This is a far cry from the “serious crimes and misdemeanors” established in the Constitution as the basis for an impeachment trial.

The House barely passed the articles in February despite unanimous Democratic opposition, after they were initially defeated because there were not enough Republicans present in the closely divided chamber to push them through. Since then, Republican leaders have delayed sending it to the Senate, scrambling to find the right time to launch a proceeding that will surely result in the failure of their effort to remove Mayorkas.

A two-thirds majority would be needed to convict him in the Senate, an unattainable threshold given that Democrats are strongly opposed.

Senior Senate Republicans and Democrats were negotiating Tuesday how to structure the trial, which will formally begin Wednesday afternoon when senators are sworn in as jurors. They were discussing allowing Republicans to debate and offer a series of procedural objections on Wednesday before Schumer moved to dismiss the two charges. But such a deal would require all members to agree, even those dead set on a trial, and it was unclear whether Republicans would seek to prolong the process.

“Impeachment should never be used to resolve a political disagreement,” Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the majority leader, said Tuesday before the charges were handed down. “We are talking about terrible precedents. This would set a terrible precedent for Congress. Every time there is a political disagreement in the House, do they send it here and tie up the Senate to do an impeachment trial? That’s absurd. That is an abuse of process. “That’s more chaos.”

At a news conference after the articles were delivered, Republicans in both chambers challenged Democrats to allow a trial that would highlight the issues affecting the border.

“We’re ready to go, Mr. Schumer,” said Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, one of the impeachment managers. “We’re ready to go.”

For his part, Mayorkas has spent months essentially ignoring the case and continuing to work. He negotiated a border security deal with both Senate Republicans and Democrats that collapsed after former President Donald J. Trump objected.

“When I say I’m not focused on the impeachment process, I actually mean it,” Mayorkas said in an interview. “I will say this: I am hopeful that they will not take my time away from my job.”

On Tuesday, Mayorkas began his day on Capitol Hill by talking about his agency’s budget request and calling on Congress to provide the department with more resources to enforce border laws, hire more staff and pass legislation he negotiated.

He said that in the last 11 months his agency has returned or expelled more than 630,000 people from the country who had no legal basis to stay.

“Our immigration system, however, is fundamentally broken,” he said. “Only Congress can solve it. Congress has not updated our immigration control laws since 1996, 28 years ago.”

Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the top Republican in the Senate, criticized Schumer’s plans to dismiss the case.

“Never before has the Senate taken up a motion to introduce articles of impeachment,” McConnell said. “Not for an official from either party. Not even once.”

He added that “it would be unworthy of the Senate to ignore our clear responsibility and not give the charges we will hear today the thorough consideration they deserve.”

McConnell did not mention that he voted for a failed effort in 2021 to dismiss a second impeachment case against Trump over the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol before the Senate held a trial.

Among the Republicans Johnson named as impeachment managers are Representatives Mark E. Green of Tennessee, chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, who promoted the conference to impeach Mayorkas.

Mia Ehrenberg, spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security, criticized the impeachment attempt.

“Despite warnings from fellow Republicans that this baseless impeachment attempt ‘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,” he said in a statement.

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