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House GOP walks articles of impeachment against Mayorkas to Senate

The two articles of impeachment accuse Mayorkas of “willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law” and “breach of public trust.”
House GOP walk articles of impeachment against Mayorkas to Senate
Posted at 1:25 PM, Apr 16, 2024

House Republicans have officially walked articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over to the Senate.

In a rare move in February, the House of Representatives voted along party lines to impeach Mayorkas. House Republicans said this was their way of holding him responsible for the influx of migrants at the southern border. With the delivery of the articles of impeachment to the Senate, the House has forced the beginning of a trial, with proceedings to start on Wednesday.

The two articles of impeachment accuse Mayorkas of “willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law” and “breach of public trust.”

“Despite warnings from fellow Republicans that this baseless impeachment effort ‘distorts the Constitution,’ House Republicans continue to ignore the facts and undermine the Constitution by wasting even more time on this sham impeachment in the Senate," said a DHS spokesperson in a statement. "Secretary Mayorkas spent months helping a bipartisan group of Senators craft a tough but fair bill that would give DHS the tools necessary to meet today’s border security challenges, but the same House Republicans playing political games with this impeachment chose to block that bipartisan compromise."

SEE MORE: What to expect from the impeachment trial of Alejandro Mayorkas

The expectation is that Mayorkas won't be convicted — far from it. Conviction requires the support of 67 senators, but Democrats hold a majority with 51 votes in the Senate, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has stated in the past that he wants the issue resolved as quickly as possible.

"We're going to try and resolve this issue as quickly as possible. Impeachment should never be used to settle policy disagreements," said Schumer last week.  "As I said in the past, it's absurd and there are no charges in the House complaint that rise to the level of impeachment."

Schumer announced Tuesday that under impeachment rules, senators will be sworn in as jurors at 1:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Sen. Patty Murray, serving as the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, will swear in senators and preside, then senators will then summon Mayorkas to inform him of the charges and request a written response. What happens after that will be up to Schumer to decide.

This impeachment is notable because it's the first time in American history that a sitting member of the president's cabinet is undergoing an impeachment trial. While there have been impeachments of cabinet members in the past, this is the first such trial of a cabinet member still in office. Such a trial almost took place in 1876, but Secretary of War William Belknap resigned before the House of Representatives voted on impeachment. 

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

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