Democrats shatter precedent with fast-track dismissal of Mayorkas impeachment

The Senate dismissed articles of impeachment on Wednesday against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, marking the first time that the chamber exonerated an official without a trial and/or reviewing evidence.

Democrats said that the two articles against Mayorkas were “political differences” and did not meet the Constitutional requirement for serious crimes or misdemeanors. They voted along party lines to dismiss both articles.

The move spared Mr. Mayorkas, and President Biden, from days of embarrassment about the chaos along the southern border as well as the legally questionable policies the administration used to deal with the surge in migrants.

Republicans claimed that the dismissal was in violation of precedent, and disgraced the Senate and House who approved the two articles.

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Charles E. Schumer (Democrat, New York) said that the whole impeachment process was a mere political show.

Some Republicans have vowed retaliation by entangling the chamber in procedural obstacles, making it hard to advance legislation in an chamber that operates on consent.

“Sen. Schumer and Senate Democrats have just trampled on hundreds of years of precedents to protect one of the most vile Cabinet members ever,” said Missouri Republican Sen. Eric Schmitt. When Joe Biden and Democrats talk about threats against democracy, they should take a long, hard look at themselves.

Mayorkas was the first Cabinet member to have been impeached, and he is now the only one to be cleared.

He was accused by the media of subverting immigration law by refusing to enforce enforcement laws, and by violating public trust through lying and obstructing Congress.

The senators dismissed the second count with a vote of 51-48, and one senator was present. The second count was dismissed by a vote of 51-49.

On Wednesday, Mr. Mayorkas was far away from Washington. He went to New York to announce a campaign of public relations to increase awareness about online threats against children.

His department hailed the Senate’s action as vindication.

Mia Ehrenberg, spokesperson for the Senate, said: “Today’s Senate decision to reject House Republicans baseless attacks against Secretary Mayorkas shows definitively that there were no evidence or constitutional ground to justify impeachment.”

The White House has also praised the Democrats’ actions.

“Once for all, this baseless impeachment, which even conservative legal scholars claimed was unconstitutional, has been voted down by the Senate,” said Ian Sams a White House spokeswoman.

The impeachment and the vote were mere sideshows compared to the chaos at the border where Mr. Biden is responsible for the worst U.S. record of chaos.

Mr. Mayorkas delivered policy resets on multiple occasions, but avoided adopting the tough approach that President Trump used to achieve the most secure border for decades by 2020.

Biden has created a political liability with the border, and with several high-profile crimes involving migrants who were caught and then released. Mr. Biden has even considered executive action in order to revive Trump-style policies before the November elections.

He has asked Congress to pass border legislation in an effort to shift some of the blame.

Mitt Romney (a Utah Republican senator who intended to oppose conviction) chastised Schumer for not respecting the House which had approved the articles in February by a vote of 214-213.

He said that it was a mistake by Senate Democrats to create a precedent of removing the Articles of Impeachment with no evaluation.

The Republicans claimed that the House had delivered 22 impeachments, and this was the first time a Senate had deemed one unconstitutional.

Sen. Joe Manchin III, of West Virginia who voted along with other Democrats to dismiss these charges, stated that the real danger is the cheapening of impeachment.

He said: “I voted against the articles of impeachment filed against Secretary Mayorkas in order to avoid the dangerous precedent whereby this solemn procedure could be used against future officials for cheap political gain.”

He said that neither article of impeachment was a crime.

John Kennedy, Louisiana Republican Senator, noted that the charge of breach of trust against Mr. Mayorkas also included accusations of lying to Congress. This is a crime.

Kennedy asked, “What are you going to do now to be impeached?”

Republicans have argued that impeachment standards in the Constitution don’t require actual crime. They cited a Supreme Court decision last year, in which several justices ruled that impeachment was a valid way to remove an official who refused to follow laws.

Many constitutional scholars said that the case against Mayorkas is too weak.

The impeachment of Mr. Mayorkas is the third one in the last five years after the two impeachments against Mr. Trump. Both times, the president was found not guilty.

Mayorkas’s anger will not be quelled by ending impeachment. The homeland security secretary is the most disliked Cabinet official by Republicans on Capitol Hill.

Mr. Mayorkas will be returning to the Senate on Thursday, to give a testimony about his budget request for fiscal 2025.