Senate Rejects Impeachment Charges Against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas

The Senate rejected impeachment charges against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, quickly dispatching the case after trial proceedings that lasted just a few hours.

The move was not unexpected, with Senators voting along party lines. Mayorkas was impeached in the House more than two months ago by just one vote, as Republicans sought to punish him over the way that he handled the southern border.

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Cable news networks dipped in and out of the proceedings through the afternoon.

Senate Democrats were successful in their move to dismiss the case, voting that the two impeachment charges were unconstitutional because they did not rise to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors. Mayorkas was charged with “willfully” refusing to comply with immigration laws and with making false statements to Congress.

Ian Sams, a White House spokesman, said in a statement, “Once and for all, the Senate has rightly voted down this baseless impeachment that even conservative legal scholars said was unconstitutional. President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas will continue doing their jobs to keep America safe and pursue actual solutions at the border, and Congressional Republicans should join them, instead of wasting time on baseless political stunts while killing real bipartisan border security reforms.”

Republicans have been hammering the Biden administration for the spike in border crossings, as the issue has been a central focus of the 2024 campaign.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) attacked Democrats for the vote, saying in a speech on the floor afterward that they “have just told the American people they don’t care, when you go down to the border and see the children who have been brutalized.”

Democrats have noted that Republicans rejected a border bill compromise after Donald Trump came out against it, seeking to use it as an issue in the campaign.

Mayorkas was the first sitting cabinet secretary to be impeached. But there was some GOP dissent in the House vote in February, with three Republicans joining with all Democrats in voting against impeachment.

The Senate’s move was a foregone conclusion, as it would have taken 67 votes to convict Mayorkas and force his removal. The only question was how long the trial would last, as Senate Democratic leaders have blasted the impeachment as a politically motivated distraction in the midst of pressing other priorities.

More to come.

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