Senate Kills GOP’s Push to Impeach DHS Secretary Mayorkas

The Senate has voted to dismiss the primary articles of impeachment leveled against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

Senators voted to dismiss the charges against Mayorkas after just a few hours of contentious procedural discussion on the Senate floor, rebuking GOP efforts to make an immigration scapegoat of the secretary despite their own repeated obstruction of legislation aimed at quelling undocumented immigration at the southern border.

In a historic vote, the Senate voted 51-49 to dismiss the first article against Mayrokas, accusing him of “willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law.” Shortly after, the chamber voted to dismiss the second charge of “breach of public trust” in a 51-49 vote.

In February, House Republicans delivered on their promise to impeach Mayorkas over their longstanding grievances over immigration. There was little chance Mayorkas would actually be convicted of any high crimes and misdemeanors, as Democrats control the Senate. Even among some Republicans, the effort to impeach Mayorkas, led in part by Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, was seen as a performative waste of time and a distraction that would inevitably end in a dismissal.

In February, Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) called the impeachment trial “the worst, dumbest exercise and use of time” which would be “dead on arrival” in the Senate — and so it was.

Despite pleas from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for senators to take their “role as a juror in this case seriously,” and to “not run from our fundamental responsibility and from the glaring truth of the record-breaking crisis at our southern border,” the GOP crusade against Mayorkas concluded exactly as expected.

Mayorkas is the second member of a presidential cabinet to be impeached by the House in the nation’s history. The GOP’s first attempted to level articles of impeachment against the secretary in February, and failed spectacularly after being blocked by four Republican House members. “I think that it lowers the grounds of impeachment to a point where we can expect it to be leveled against every conservative Supreme Court justice and future Republican president and Cabinet member the moment the Democrats take control,” Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) said of his no vote.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) made similar arguments on Wednesday in his pitch to lawmakers to vote to dismiss the articles against Mayorkas. “For the sake of the Senate’s integrity, and to protect impeachment for those rare cases we truly need it, senators should dismiss today’s charges,” he said in a floor speech ahead of the trial.

Minutes after the trial officially began, Schumer raised a point of order challenging the fist impeachment article leveled against the secretary, telling the chamber that the accusations against Mayorkas do “not allege conduct that rises to the level of a high crime or misdemeanor as required under Article 2, Section 4 of the United States Constitution and it’s therefore unconstitutional under the precedents and practices of the Senate.”

Republicans, unwilling to have one of their most prominent election year soapboxes dismantled in a matter of hours, repeatedly attempted to move the trial to a closed door session — or to outright adjourn the trial — in order to delay the dismissal.

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