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Senate Wants Quick Mayorkas Impeachment Dismissal

The Democrat-led Senate reportedly is seeking a speedy trial of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who became the second Cabinet member in U.S. history to be impeached by the House.

Senate leaders want to prevent House managers who will act as prosecutors from turning the event into a political spectacle, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

The House voted 214-213 on Tuesday to approve two articles of impeachment against Mayorkas: for willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law regarding immigration and border security, and for breach of public trust regarding the state of the southern border. No Democrats voted to impeach, and three Republicans voted against. It was the second time in a week the House held an impeachment vote; the last time, on Feb. 6, was defeated 216-214.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has not yet determined how to facilitate a speedy trial, the Times reported, citing people familiar with the continuing discussions who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The House is expected to deliver the charges Feb. 28, and Schumer is hoping to have the matter resolved within a couple of days.

Only one Cabinet official had been impeached before Mayorkas: Secretary of War William Belknap in 1876. Belknap resigned before he was acquitted in a Senate trial.

Senate leaders are hoping there is enough Democrat anger and exasperation among Republicans with the way Mayorkas’s impeachment was managed to swiftly exonerate him, the Times reported, either by throwing out the charges or by moving to bring the proceedings to an early close.

The odds of Mayorkas being convicted are slim. At least 18 Democrats would need to join all 49 Republicans to reach the two-thirds threshold for a Senate conviction.

Under the Constitution, the Senate must consider impeachment charges approved by the House — meaning a trial, with senators sworn in as jurors — once the articles are delivered. But there are many options for how to proceed from there, the Times reported.

A full trial is not a requirement, and Senate leaders can implement their own rules for how to conduct the proceedings. In most modern impeachments, that has included a chance for any senator to move to dismiss the charges, needing a simple majority threshold for doing so.

House Republicans are seeking a full trial.

“If they ignore this, and just throw it in the trash can without taking it as seriously as the American people do, then there will be accountability and consequences,” House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., said Wednesday, according to the Times. “They have to do their job.”

Michael Katz

Michael Katz is a Newsmax reporter with more than 30 years of experience reporting and editing on news, culture, and politics.


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