Senate dispenses with Mayorkas impeachment without a trial

Michael Macagnone, CQ-Roll Call on

Published in Political News

WASHINGTON — The Senate voted Wednesday to dispense with impeachment articles against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas without a trial, in a show of procedural hardball from the Democratic caucus.

Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., who had said his party would quickly dispense of the impeachment, made two procedural points of order that the articles did not meet the constitutional standard for impeachment.

The Democratic caucus stuck together to back those, in 51-48-1 and 51-49 votes, which meant that the articles fell. Republicans made procedural motions to halt that fate, but the Democratic caucus rejected them.

About three hours after the senators were sworn in as impeachment jurors, the chamber had wiped out the articles and ended its time as the impeachment court.

The procedural drama on the floor started right away. Schumer offered Republicans a time agreement which would have allowed more than three hours of debate along with votes on several resolutions.

Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Mo., objected and blocked that plan, and accused Democrats of “setting the Constitution ablaze” by voting to dispense with the articles without a trial.


That’s when Schumer made his first point of order. After a brief pause, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, made a motion to take the Senate into closed session.

Schumer was no longer interested. “In our previous consent request, we gave your side a chance for debate in public, where it should be, and your side objected. We are moving forward,” Schumer said.

The two impeachment articles, accusing Mayorkas of “willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law” and “breach of public trust,” were the first effort to oust a sitting Cabinet secretary in more than a century.

Mayorkas’ tenure as Homeland Security secretary has made him a lightning rod for criticism amid the broader disputes between the Biden administration and Republicans over immigration and border policy.


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