Is the Senate ready to conduct a full trial for Homeland Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas? - Hindustan Times
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Is the Senate ready to conduct a full trial for Homeland Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas?

Apr 17, 2024 02:24 AM IST

Alejandro Mayorkas calls the allegations baseless as the House Republicans push forward with the impeachment, citing a breach of border laws.

The Senate received articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Tuesday.

US Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testifies at a Fiscal Year 2025 budget hearing at Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on April 16, 2024. (Photo by Julia Nikhinson / AFP)(AFP)
US Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testifies at a Fiscal Year 2025 budget hearing at Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on April 16, 2024. (Photo by Julia Nikhinson / AFP)(AFP)

House impeachment managers, appointed by Republican leadership, ceremoniously delivered the two articles through the Capitol, accompanied by the House clerk and sergeant-at-arms.

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Calls for full-scale trail mount

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green read the charges: “The evidence is clear—Secretary Mayorkas should be tried by the Senate for high crimes and misdemeanors. Specifically, the House found that he willfully and systemically refused to comply with the laws passed by Congress, and breached the public trust.”

“These are serious charges that I urge my colleagues in the Senate to treat with the gravity and deliberation they deserve,” he went on.

“The Senate has a responsibility to conduct a full trial, hear the evidence, and render a verdict.”

A former secretary of war, William Belknap, was the other Cabinet secretary in the history of the US to face impeachment proceedings in 1876. Among those, only the Homeland Security Secretary would stand after.

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Majority Leader Chuck Schumer confirmed that the trial proceedings would commence on Wednesday at 1:00 pm. “We want to address this issue as expeditiously as possible,” he stated.

The United States House Republicans began the impeachment process against Mayorkas, implicating his mythical breach of the border laws, with the surge of migrant arrivals at the USA – Mexico border.

Despite the challenges, the vote was a success and approved with a 3-0 vote from Republicans; Democrats voted no.

But will there be a full-scale trial?

Charges against Mayorkas include “willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law” and “breach of public trust,” which he denied as “baseless.”

The impeachment managers in the house, including Representative Michael McCaul, who is also a Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman, underscored the seriousness of the charges and requested for an all-inclusive Senate trial.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell stated, “It would be beneath the Senate's dignity to shrug off our clear responsibility and fail to give the charges we'll hear today the thorough consideration they deserve,” and added, “I'll strenuously oppose the effort to table the articles of impeachment and avoid looking at the Biden administration border crisis squarely in the face.”

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Senate can dismiss the trial, but will they do it?

Despite calls for a full-scale trial, the likelihood remains slim, with the precise course of the impeachment proceedings yet to be determined.

The Senate has the option to dismiss the trial outright or refer it to a committee for further review.

Earlier on Tuesday, Mayorkas appeared before Capitol Hill lawmakers and responded, “The dedicated public servants of DHS deserve full support, and the American people deserve the results a fully resourced DHS can deliver.”

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