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    Sunday, May 19, 2024

    Senate votes to dismiss impeachment charges against Mayorkas

    The Senate on Wednesday voted to dismiss two articles of impeachment against Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, which allege he mismanaged an influx of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. Both votes were along party lines.

    The impeachment trial of the first sitting Cabinet secretary came to a close a little over three hours after it started after Republicans quickly quashed an opportunity for limited debate and the creation of an impeachment committee, marking a rapid close to the first impeachment of a sitting cabinet secretary.

    Democrats, voting along party lines, found the first article charging Mayorkas with “willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law" to be unconstitutional. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, voted present. Democrats voted again along party lines, finding the second article charging Mayorkas with “breach of public trust” also to be unconstitutional. The trial came to a conclusion before the House impeachment managers could present their argument.

    Shortly after opening the trial, Senate Majority Schumer, D-N.Y., offered Republicans a period of debate time and the opportunity to create an impeachment committee, which was sharply rejected by Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Missouri. Schumer swiftly responded with a point of order to declare the first article of impeachment against Mayorkas unconstitutional, prompting the first of several procedural objections by Republicans that followed.

    Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, called to move the Senate to a closed session; Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., motioned to adjourn the Senate until April 30; and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called to table the point of order made by Schumer. Each objection made by Republicans, who are in a relatively powerless position in the minority, failed.

    Some senators appeared bored at their small desks as Republicans made procedural point after procedural point, forcing a series of failed votes to delay the trial and other matters. At times, Republicans attempted to deliver extended remarks on the House floor, blaming Mayorkas and Democrats for the record-breaking levels of migration at the southern U.S. border. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., repeatedly interceded as her GOP colleagues tried to make their points of order into political statements, interrupting Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., as he described the border crisis in a long winded introduction to another failed procedural vote.

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