Impeachment Articles Delivered to Senate

Mayorkas proceedings may not last long
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 16, 2024 2:27 PM CDT
Impeachment Articles Delivered to Senate
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testifies during a hearing on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, April 16, 2024.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

House impeachment managers walked two articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas across the Capitol to the Senate on Tuesday, forcing senators to convene a trial on the allegations that he has "willfully and systematically" refused to enforce immigration laws. While the Senate is obligated to hold a trial under the rules of impeachment once the charges are walked across the Capitol, the proceedings may not last long, the AP reports. Democrats are expected to try to dismiss or table the charges later this week before the full arguments get underway.

  • After walking the articles to the Senate, the Republican prosecutors appointed by House Speaker Mike Johnson stood in the well of the Senate. The Senate sergeant-at-arms, the chamber's top security official, called the session to order with a "hear ye! hear ye!" and a notice that "all persons are commanded to keep silence, on pain of imprisonment." The House Homeland Security Committee chairman, Mark Green, a Republican who is one of the impeachment managers, read the articles aloud.

  • Republicans have argued there should be a full trial. As Johnson signed the articles Monday in preparation for sending them across the Capitol, he said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer should convene a trial to "hold those who engineered this crisis to full account."
  • After Tuesday's ceremonial procession and presentation of the articles, the proceedings will not begin until Wednesday. Senators will be sworn in as jurors, turning the chamber into the court of impeachment. The Senate will then issue a summons to Mayorkas to inform him of the charges and ask for a written answer. He will not have to appear.
  • The entire process could be done within hours on Wednesday. Majority Democrats have said the GOP case against Mayorkas doesn't rise to the "high crimes and misdemeanors" laid out as a bar for impeachment in the Constitution, and Schumer probably has enough votes to end the trial immediately if he decides to do so.
  • Schumer has said he wants to "address this issue as expeditiously as possible." "Impeachment should never be used to settle a policy disagreement," Schumer said. "That would set a horrible precedent for the Congress."
  • Last week, delivery of the articles of impeachment was delayed as Republican senators sought more time to build support for holding a full trial.
(More Alejandro Mayorkas stories.)

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