The Senate is preparing to avoid the trial of Mayorkas

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Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ impeachment will hit a dead end this week as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) prepares to kill a trial, upsetting Republicans who wanted to highlight the management of the case administration. edge.

House Republicans impeached Mayorkas in mid-February, but the official transmission of the articles was stuck in limbo while Congress worked to fund the government.

That will change when impeachment managers deliver the articles on Wednesday, when Senate President Pro Tempore Patty Murray (D-Wash.) swears in the senators as jurors a day later and Schumer is expected to dispense with them for good. soon.

The Democratic leader has refused to say exactly how he plans to handle the articles of impeachment. His options include holding a vote to table the articles or dismiss or bury them by referring them to a special committee.

Members on both sides of the aisle hope he avoids a trial.

“My expectation is that when we get this, we’ll get it out pretty quickly,” said Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), relaying the message he received from Schumer recently, adding that it’s still unclear how the trial will be wrapped up. with. “We see it as a trick. Republicans see it as a gimmick. “That doesn’t mean that some won’t vote for it, but no one sees it as something serious.”

House Republicans accused Mayorkas of “high crimes and misdemeanors,” including “his deliberate and systemic refusal to comply with the law and his abuse of the public trust,” both allegations that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) ) strongly denies.

“Without a shred of evidence or legitimate constitutional basis, and despite bipartisan opposition, House Republicans have falsely smeared a dedicated public servant who has spent more than 20 years enforcing our laws and serving our country.” , DHS said in a statement last month.

Democrats have consistently criticized Mayorkas’ impeachment and largely agree with whatever Schumer decides to do.

“In a heartbeat,” said Sen. Dick Durbin (Ill.), the Senate’s No. 2 Democrat, when asked if he would vote to dismiss the procedure. “This is ridiculous. I think even House Republicans have lost interest in it. … These are supposed to be high crimes and misdemeanors. Really? What? They don’t have any details.”

Democrats are widely expected to get the 51 votes needed to introduce or dismiss the articles. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) He admitted it to reporters last week. in his home state.

“Schumer may file a motion to dismiss or present. I hope he does it,” McConnell said. “And Democrats have a majority, so this may not last long.”

Durbin, the top Democratic vote negotiator, added that he’s still not sure if they have 51 votes on their side to dismiss a lawsuit, but he hasn’t heard of any dissent on his side of the aisle.

Sen. Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) has described the impeachment attempt against Mayorkas as “pure garbage,” while Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) has already said it is in favor of dismissing the articles.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.), an independent who typically votes with Democrats, has not commented on the possibility of a Mayorkas trial. A spokesperson for Sinema highlighted her policy of not previewing her votes.

A big question surrounding Mayorkas’ impeachment trial is whether there will be political consequences for Tester, Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio) and other incumbent Democrats up for re-election in the fall if they vote against a trial.

Republicans, who are making immigration and border issues a major talking point on the campaign trail, are spending a lot attack Democrats on the issue, and believe a vote to remove the articles favors them.

“Apparently, they don’t think it’s worth their time,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) told The Hill. “And they would certainly like to avoid the embarrassment of going through failure after failure by the Biden administration and Secretary Mayorkas when it comes to simply enforcing the law.”

Most Senate Republicans have lined up behind a trial to further highlight the Biden administration’s handling of the border, including its leadership. McConnell said last week that his “preference would be to have a trial,” but noted that the numbers would suggest otherwise.

But some Republicans have yet to support a trial. Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) has indicated that he could support a motion to dismiss, while a handful of GOP members are considered in play.

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), a leadership ally, said Monday that he has not yet made a decision on a possible trial.

Heritage Action on Monday called on senators to vote against Schumer’s expected push to dismiss the trial, which top Senate conservatives have backed.

“The Senate has an obligation to vote on articles of impeachment,” Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, noting that Republicans “respected ” the process when former President Trump was impeached by House Democrats in 2019, and they were part of the majority of the upper house.

“We fulfilled our constitutional duty and held a full trial in the plenary session. Now that the situation is on the other foot, Senate Democrats are trying to destroy yet another precedent and further politicize the impeachment process,” they wrote. “Democrats will break another rule and set a dangerous precedent they will regret.”

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