House Forces Trial In Mayorkas Impeachment

FILE - Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testifies during a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee on Capitol Hill, Nov. 8, 2023, in Washington. House Republicans are marching ahead with impeachment plans, their sights on Mayorkas as "derelict in his duty" over handling of the U.S.-Mexico border. Speaker Mike Johnson gave his nod to Wednesday's hearing at the Homeland Security Committee.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

House Speaker Mike Johnson said Tuesday he is sending impeachment charges against Alejandro Mayorkas to the Senate, forcing senators to convene a trial on the allegations that the Homeland Security secretary has “willfully and systematically” refused to enforce existing immigration laws.

But the proceedings might not last long.

While the Senate is obligated to convene a trial under the rules of impeachment once the charges are walked across the Capitol, Democrats are expected to try to dismiss or table the charges before the arguments get underway.

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 Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., likely has enough votes to end the trial immediately if he decides to do so. The proceedings begin Wednesday.

Opening the Senate for the week, Schumer 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.”

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