Senate Republicans warm up to Mayorkas impeachment trial over border concerns

1 March 2024
Senate Republicans warm up to Mayorkas impeachment trial over border concerns

Senate Republicans are coming out in favor of holding a trial for Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who was impeached by the House over his actions and guidance regarding the southern border and illegal immigration more than two weeks ago.

A growing list of Republican senators — not confined to hard-line conservatives — have voiced their support for a full impeachment trial for Mayorkas after the Republican-controlled House approved articles this month.

Initially, several Republican senators predicted doom for the House’s impeachment effort in the Senate.

Though Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said he believes Mayorkas to be responsible for enforcing President Biden’s “disastrous immigration policies,” he isn’t in favor of a trial in the upper chamber. “An impeachment trial might be great politics, but it’s not the remedy for bad policy and would set a terrible constitutional precedent,” he wrote recently on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., recently told reporters that “It’ll fail in the Senate.”

“If I could use the House term: It’ll be dead on arrival when it comes over,” he said.

Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., didn’t hold back from criticizing his House counterparts over the effort. He told Axios the impeachment was “the worst, dumbest exercise and use of time.”

However, in the weeks following the House’s vote, more Republican senators have emerged in favor of a trial into Mayorkas’ impeachment. Those in support of a trial are not solely members of the more hard-line faction of the Senate GOP, demonstrating a somewhat unified Republican stance.

Last week, a group of Republican senators led by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, called on Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to “demand” a Senate trial. It was conveyed in a letter signed by Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Eric Schmitt, R-Mo., Rick Scott, R-Fla., Ron Johnson, R-Wis., JD Vance, R-Ohio, Roger Marshall, R-Kan., Josh Hawley, R-Mo., Mike Braun, R-Ind., Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., Ted Budd, R-N.C., Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., and Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.

To the surprise of some, both McConnell and Minority Whip John Thune, R-S.D., each professed their support for a trial Tuesday. Citing the House’s move to impeach Mayorkas, Thune said during a press conference, “That issue will come before the United States Senate. I believe the Senate needs to hold a trial.”

McConnell later told reporters a trial is “the best way forward.”

Sens. Katie Britt, R-Ala., John Kennedy, R-La., Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and Steve Daines, R-Mont., have also since told Fox News Digital they support an impeachment trial.

“The Senate should fulfill its constitutional charge and hold a proper trial in full view of the public,” said Britt.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, reiterated his belief that his House colleagues were right to impeach Mayorkas, and he went as far as saying Mayorkas “should be impeached because he lied under oath by saying the border is secure.”

As for Sen. James Risch, R-Idaho, his office did not clarify his support for a trial but said he plans to serve as a juror and withhold his judgment until its completion.

The Department of Homeland Security declined to comment on these developments, referring Fox News Digital to its earlier statement regarding the House’s impeachment vote.

“House Republicans will be remembered by history for trampling on the Constitution for political gain rather than working to solve the serious challenges at our border,” wrote Mia Ehrenberg, DHS spokesperson.

“While Secretary Mayorkas was helping a group of Republican and Democratic Senators develop bipartisan solutions to strengthen border security and get needed resources for enforcement, House Republicans have wasted months with this baseless, unconstitutional impeachment,” she continued.

Despite the expanding GOP support for a trial, any such effort is expected to fail because it would require a two-thirds Senate majority to convict and remove Mayorkas from his post. Republicans are in the minority in the Senate and members of the conference have already joined Democrats in criticizing the House for the impeachment, making hopes for a conviction and removal dim.

After procedural requirements of the impeachment process take place, including delivery and reading of the articles to the Senate by selected House managers, the swearing in of senators as jurors and the issuing of a summons to Mayorkas, the Senate is expected to decide how to move forward. Only a simple majority is required to dismiss the trial, which could be sought by Democrats, who have an advantage over Republicans, 51-49, as the three independent senators each caucus with the Senate Democrats.

Schumer hasn’t said whether he would be supportive of cutting a trial short with a motion to dismiss, and his office did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital.

Source: foxnews

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