Senate votes quickly to dismiss articles of impeachment against DHS Secretary Mayorkas – NBC News

Senate votes quickly to dismiss articles of impeachment against DHS Secretary Mayorkas – NBC News

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats successfully voted Wednesday to dismiss two articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, just hours after the trial officially opened.

The speed of the impeachment trial was an embarrassing blow to Republicans who had threatened to shut down the Senate and delay proceedings in an effort to highlight what they see as Mayorkas’ failure to secure the border and stop the flow of thousands of undocumented migrants at the border.

However, Democrats, who control the upper chamber, easily gave up both articles of impeachment – ​​as well as several motions to adjourn the Senate.

They passed a motion stating that the first article of impeachment – ​​accusing Mayorkas of failing to enforce immigration laws – “does not allege conduct that rises to the level of a crime or serious offense” and “is therefore unconstitutional”. The party-line vote was 51-48, with Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, voting “present.”

Democrats also passed a motion declaring the second article unconstitutional – alleging that Mayorkas lied to Congress under oath. This strictly partisan result was 51 votes to 49.

The Senate then voted to end the trial “sine die”, that is to say for good, less than three and a half hours after it began.

“Once and for all, the Senate has rightly rejected this baseless impeachment that even conservative legal scholars have called unconstitutional,” said White House spokesman Ian Sams.

“President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas will continue to do their jobs to keep America safe and seek real solutions at the border, and Congressional Republicans should join them, instead of wasting time on meaningless political stunts. foundation while killing real bipartisan border security reforms.

There was never a scenario in which Mayorkas would have been convicted, which would have required two-thirds, or 67 votes. From the start, Democrats, led by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, pledged to “expeditiously” address the impeachment proceedings and then move on to other matters.

Republicans, who hoped to prolong the process and make it as politically painful as possible for Democrats, cried foul over the speed with which the trial ended. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., said Democrats set a horrible precedent by quickly rejecting the articles; he suggested that could mean the end of any future impeachments.

“It won’t make any difference, right? If you can impeach, it will come here and be like, boom, it’s gone, it’s over, you don’t have to do anything,” Hawley said . “Why wouldn’t a future Senate take the opportunity to get rid of it and not have to go through a trial?”

Senate President Pro Tem Patty Murray, D-Wash., presided over the trial Wednesday.

A day earlier, the 11 GOP impeachment managers, or prosecutors, marched across the Capitol to the Senate chamber and hand-delivered the two articles, accusing Mayorkas of failing to enforce the laws on immigration and securing the border, as well as lying to Congress under oath, including claiming that the U.S. border with Mexico is “secure.”

After reading the articles in the Senate, the leaders joined conservative senators at a news conference in which they demanded a full trial and said a motion to quickly remove the articles would be unprecedented.

After the Senate voted to reject the articles, Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., and his GOP leadership team issued harsh rebukes to Democrats.

“By voting unanimously to circumvent their constitutional responsibility, all Senate Democrats expressed their full support for the Biden administration’s dangerous open border policies,” GOP leaders said in a statement.

“Secretary Mayorkas alongside President Biden used nearly every tool at his disposal to bring about the greatest humanitarian and national security catastrophe on our borders in American history.”

DHS spokesperson Mia Ehrenberg dismissed the “baseless” accusation in a statement, saying: “Secretary Mayorkas will continue to work every day to uphold our laws and protect our country. It’s time for congressional Republicans to support the department’s vital mission instead of wasting time playing political games. Games.”


Related posts