House Delivers Articles Of Impeachment Against Alejandro Mayorkas To Senate

WASHINGTON ― The Republican-led House delivered its articles of impeachment against Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to the Senate, setting the stage for the swearing in of senators as jurors in a trial on Wednesday.

But the proceedings likely won’t get very far: Democrats are expected to offer a motion to dismiss the case on the ground that it’s baseless and doesn’t rise to the constitutional standard of high crimes and misdemeanors, a view that even some Republicans share.

And with other pressing matters before the upper chamber, including a looming Friday deadline for reauthorization of top national intelligence programs and possible votes on U.S. aid to Israel and Ukraine, many senators would like to move on from the Mayorkas trial as quickly as possible.

On Tuesday, 11 House impeachment managers carried an impeachment charge against Mayorkas in a ceremonial procession across the Capitol building and hand-delivered it to clerks on the well of the Senate.

U.S. Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), and Mark Green (R-TN) and other impeachment managers carry the articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas into the Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill on April 16, 2024 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Andrew Harnik/Getty Images)

Standing before the Senate, Rep. Mark Green (R-Tenn.), the lead impeachment manager, read the article aloud accusing Mayorkas of “willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law” and a “breach of public trust” over his handling of the influx of migrants on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Democrats, meanwhile, flatly rejected the impeachment push as a partisan stunt intended to damage President Joe Biden’s standing ahead of the November election. The charges, they argued, are a matter of policy dispute with the Biden administration’s execution of immigration laws and not ‘high crimes’ as outlined in the constitution.

“Impeachment should never be used to settle a policy disagreement. That would set a horrible precedent for the Congress,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), vowing to address the charges “expeditiously.”

It’s not clear yet how Democrats intend to dispense with the case. Any senator may offer a motion to dismiss or table the trial, requiring a simple majority of votes to succeed. During former President Donald Trump’s 2021 impeachment trial, Republicans offered a motion to dismiss the charges of inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, but it was rejected with bipartisan support.

Several Republicans who have been critical of the House impeachment effort of Mayorkas could join with Democrats in voting to prevent his ouster, including Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine, and Mitt Romney of Utah.

“He has done a terrible job, but he’s following the direction of the president and has not met the constitutional test of a high crime or misdemeanor,” Romney told HuffPost last week.

But Romney on Tuesday said he would like to see some sort of debate, on either the Senate floor or in committee at a later date, before voting on a motion to table the trial.

Doing so, he added, would protect the process of impeachment and “make sure that we don’t begin wiping aside articles of impeachment that come from the House.”

Democratic leaders seemed amenable to reaching an agreement on a period of debate on the articles before the Senate votes to table the trial, likely as early as Wednesday, when the proceedings are set to formally begin.

This week’s impeachment proceedings against a top government official are the third the Senate has taken up in the last five years. Democrats twice impeached Trump under his tenure, in 2019 and 2021, but he was acquitted both times.