Politics

Johnson Informs Schumer He’ll Send Mayorkas Impeachment Articles To Senate On April 10

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.


House Speaker Mike Johnson notified Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer that the House will submit the articles of impeachment against U.S. Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas to the Senate on April 10.

This is the next step toward holding an impeachment trial in the upper house. In response to the letter, Schumer’s office stated that senators will take the juror oath on April 11.

“The House impeached Mayorkas on February 13 by an extremely narrow margin, making him the first Cabinet secretary to be impeached in almost 150 years,” CNN reported.

“House Republicans impeached Mayorkas last month after failing to do so on their first try, a stunning loss that came about after GOP defections and absences sank the initial floor vote. Republicans have sought to use the impeachment of Mayorkas’ to spotlight the Biden administration’s handling of the southern border, as the conference has faced building pressure from their base to hold President Joe Biden and his departments and agencies accountable over immigration and border security policies,” the outlet added.

While Schumer has not yet specified how his chamber will conduct the trial, it is unlikely that the Democratic-controlled Senate will find Mayorkas guilty.

Instead, senators may move swiftly to drop the impeachment. Senate President Pro Tempore Patty Murray will preside over the proceedings, according to Schumer’s statement from last month.

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Although several constitutional experts have stated that the evidence does not meet that high standard, Johnson claimed in his letter that Mayorkas has committed serious crimes and misdemeanors related to his management of the southern border.

A representative for the Department of Homeland Security, Mia Ehrenberg, described the attempt as “baseless, unconstitutional impeachment” and claimed it was “without a shred of evidence or legitimate constitutional grounds.”

As CNN previously reported, House Republicans purposefully withheld sending the impeachment articles to the Senate until after Congress had finished discussing government funding for this fiscal year. The week of April 8 marks the return of both chambers to regular sessions.

Johnson urged Schumer to try Mayorkas in front of the Senate.

“We urge you to schedule a trial of the matter expeditiously,” Johnson wrote, arguing that Schumer must fulfill his “constitutional obligation.”

CNN noted in its report: “A showdown over immigration between Senate Democrats and Republicans is set up by sending the articles of impeachment against Mayorkas to the Senate. This is a particularly contentious issue in the run-up to the 2024 presidential election.”

“Many Republicans are becoming even less optimistic about the possibility of impeaching the president, who is arguably their top investigative target this Congress, as a result of the way the impeachment process against Mayorkas has unfolded. With their razor-thin majority, Republicans lack the votes and hard evidence needed to impeach Biden, which has caused the impeachment investigation to stand still,” CNN added.

Johnson signed the letter with the House Republicans he selected as his impeachment managers, which include: House Homeland Security Chair Mark Green of Tennessee and Reps. Michael McCaul of Texas, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Clay Higgins of Louisiana, Ben Cline of Virginia, Michael Guest of Mississippi, Andrew Garbarino of New York, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, August Pfluger of Texas, Harriet Hageman of Wyoming, and Laurel Lee of Florida.

Last week, House Oversight Committee Chairman Jim Jordan fired off another subpoena to Mayorkas, demanding records from Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The subpoena comes after the GOP-led House impeached Mayorkas last month and is the third one sent to the DHS chief in recent months.

In December, Jordan issued a subpoena demanding documents on “violent” illegal aliens and another in February about border security in Texas.

The Ohio Republican has also been seeking information on the illegal immigrant suspected of killing University of Georgia nursing student Laken Riley, the Daily Wire reported.

“As a part of its oversight efforts, we conducted transcribed interviews with several Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials. During these transcribed interviews, the ICE witnesses were unable to answer certain questions about data, documents, and communications related to the Biden Administration’s immigration policies,” Jordan wrote in a cover letter accompanying his latest subpoena.

“On November 2, 2023, the Committee requested that the Department provide the information that the ICE witnesses could not provide during their transcribed interviews. To date, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has failed to fully comply with our requests,” the GOP lawmaker added.

Jordan stated that committee staff attempted on multiple occasions to inquire about the status of the requested information in the months following DHS’s missed deadline.

On two occasions, the agency’s staff initially provided “only a partial answer” and later shared links to some public data and information that did not fulfill the panel’s requirements, the chairman added.

“Although we appreciate that DHS has provided some limited data, your failure to produce all the requested documents and information prevents the Committee from fulfilling its constitutional oversight obligations,” Jordan wrote.

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The chairman noted that the Oversight Committee has jurisdiction over issues that concern federal immigration law and hinted that the information being sought could have an impact on legislative actions that could include “reforming Alternatives to Detention, increasing penalties on aliens who abscond from ICE, and enhancing ICE’s tracking, detention, and communications standards for aliens on the terrorist watchlist.”

A DHS spokesperson pushed back on Jordan’s assertions.

“Instead of working cooperatively, as DHS has repeatedly sought to do, the House Judiciary Committee continues to waste time with unnecessary subpoenas that serve no purpose beyond political posturing,” said DHS press secretary Mia Ehrenberg. “In this Administration, DHS has produced thousands of pages of documents, provided countless briefings, and sent dozens of witnesses to appear for hearings. On this request alone, DHS already provided the vast majority of the information requested by the committee and made clear that our efforts remain ongoing.”

She added: “DHS will continue cooperating with Congressional oversight requests, all while faithfully working to protect our nation from terrorism and targeted violence, secure our borders, respond to natural disasters, defend against cyberattacks, and more.”

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