GOP Senators Ask for Delay on Mayorkas Impeachment Articles

They're trying to build support for holding a full trial
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 9, 2024 6:11 PM CDT
GOP Senators Ask for Delay on Mayorkas Impeachment Articles
Speaker of the House Mike Johnson speaks at the Capitol last month.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Speaker Mike Johnson will delay sending the House's articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to the Senate this week as previously planned. Republican senators requested more time Tuesday to build support for holding a full trial. The sudden change of plans cast fresh doubts on the proceedings, the historic first impeachment of a Cabinet secretary in roughly 150 years, the AP reports. Seeking to rebuke the Biden administration's handling of the southern border, House Republicans impeached Mayorkas in February but delayed sending the articles while they finished work on government funding legislation.

Johnson had planned to send the impeachment charges to the Senate on Wednesday evening. But as it became clear that Democrats, who hold majority control of the chamber, had the votes to quickly dismiss them, Senate Republicans requested that Johnson delay until next week. They hoped the tactic would prolong the process. While Republicans argued Tuesday that forgoing a full Senate trial would break precedent, most Senate Republicans voted to do just that when Donald Trump was impeached a second time on charges he incited an insurrection in the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol. Their effort to halt the proceedings failed, though Trump was ultimately acquitted in the Senate trial.

"Our members want to have an opportunity not only to debate but also to have some votes on issues they want to raise," said South Dakota Sen. John Thune, the second-ranking Republican Senate leader. Under procedural rules, senators are required to convene as jurors the day after the articles of impeachment are transmitted for a trial. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who has decried the impeachment push as a "sham," suggested Democrats still plan to deal with the charges quickly. "We're ready to go whenever they are. We are sticking with our plan. We're going to move this as expeditiously as possible," Schumer said. "Impeachment should never be used to settle policy disagreements," he told reporters earlier Tuesday. (More Alejandro Mayorkas stories.)

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