Johnson informs Schumer he will send Mayorkas impeachment articles to Senate on April 10

Speaker Mike Johnson informed Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer that the House will send the impeachment articles against Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas to the Senate on April 10, according to a letter obtained by CNN, the next step in having an impeachment trial in the upper chamber.

Schumer’s office responded to the letter, saying senators will be sworn in as jurors on April 11.

The House impeached Mayorkas on February 13 by an extremely narrow margin, making him the first Cabinet secretary to be impeached in almost 150 years.

House Republicans impeached Mayorkas last month after failing to do so on their first try, a stunning loss that came about after GOP defections and absence sank the initial floor vote. Republicans have sought to use the impeachment of Mayorkas’ to spotlight the Biden administration’s handling of the southern border, as the conference has faced building pressure from their base to hold President Joe Biden and his departments and agencies accountable over immigration and border security policies.

The Democratic-controlled Senate is not expected to convict Mayorkas, and senators could move to quickly dismiss the impeachment, though Schumer has not outlined specifically how his chamber will handle the trial. Schumer said last month that Senate President Pro Tempore Patty Murray will preside over the proceedings.

In his letter, Johnson said Mayorkas has committed high crimes and misdemeanors for his handling of the southern border, even though several constitutional experts have said the evidence does not reach that high bar. Mia Ehrenberg, a DHS spokesperson, called the effort a “baseless, unconstitutional impeachment” that is “without a shred of evidence or legitimate constitutional grounds.”

House Republicans had intentionally not sent the impeachment articles over to the Senate until Congress completed addressing government funding for this fiscal year, as CNN previously reported. Both chambers do not return back into session until the week of April 8.

Johnson called on Schumer to hold a Senate trial on Mayorkas.

“We urge you to schedule a trial of the matter expeditiously,” Johnson wrote, arguing that Schumer must fulfill his “constitutional obligation.”

Sending the impeachment articles against Mayorkas over to the Senate sets up a showdown between Senate Democrats and Republicans over the border, a particularly charged topic in the lead up to the 2024 presidential election.

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

On top of that, many have pointed out that the impeachment of Mayorkas is likely to go nowhere in the Democratic-controlled Senate, making their painstaking efforts to impeach Biden appear to be a dead end.

In a recent fundraising email obtained by CNN, House Oversight Chairman James Comer who is helping to lead the investigation into Biden, made this exact argument.

Highlighting that the Senate has yet to take up the Mayorkas impeachment articles and will likely dismiss them quickly, Comer wrote, “What do you think they would do if we Impeached Biden?”

Johnson signed the letter with the House Republicans he selected as his impeachment managers, which include House Homeland Security Chair Mark Green of Tennessee and Reps. Michael McCaul of Texas, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Clay Higgins of Louisiana, Ben Cline of Virginia, Michael Guest of Mississippi, Andrew Garbarino of New York, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgie, August Pfluger of Texas, Harriet Hageman of Wyoming and Laurel Lee of Florida.

This story has been updated with additional developments and reaction.

CNN’s Manu Raju contributed to this report.

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