Senate rejects impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas

Andrea Castillo, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Political News

WASHINGTON — Senators were sworn in at 1 p.m. Wednesday for their third impeachment trial in four years, this time of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas.

Three hours later, they had voted along party lines to dismiss both counts against Mayorkas.

House Republicans, who say Mayorkas has failed to fulfill his duties in upholding immigration law, pushed for a full Senate trial of the case against him. Senate Democrats called the allegations baseless.

The impeachment of President Biden’s top immigration official comes as Republicans make migration across the southern border an election-year issue.

“By doing what we just did, we have in effect ignored the directions of the House, which were to have a trial,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said. “Today is not a proud day in the history of the Senate.”

Mayorkas, a Cuban immigrant who grew up in California, is the first U.S. Cabinet official impeached in nearly 150 years.


Wednesday’s proceedings also marked the first time the Senate has ever declined to hold a trial after impeachment by the House.

It has been two months since Mayorkas was narrowly impeached in the House by a single-vote margin, with three Republicans and all Democrats opposed.

As the Senate convened Wednesday, Mayorkas was in New York City, where he held a news conference announcing a public awareness campaign to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse. As the trial got underway, Mayorkas was in transit back to Washington.

“Today’s decision by the Senate to reject House Republicans’ baseless attacks on Secretary Mayorkas proves definitively that there was no evidence or Constitutional grounds to justify impeachment,” Department of Homeland Security spokesperson Mia Ehrenberg said in a statement. “It’s time for Congressional Republicans to support the department’s vital mission instead of wasting time playing political games and standing in the way of commonsense, bipartisan border reforms.”


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