GOP hope for Mayorkas impeachment trial dims as Senate Dems look for quick dismissal

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As the Senate waits for the House to deliver its articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, multiple Democrats expressed their expectation to Fox News Digital that they will be dismissed quickly, and a full trial will not play out. 

Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., told Fox News Digital he “of course” thinks his fellow Democratic colleagues will move to table the articles when they are officially delivered to the Senate and lawmakers are sworn in to be jurors. 

“It’s entirely political,” he said. “They’ve never shown any evidence of any kind of impeachable offense and then impeached him in the House anyway. It’s ridiculous.”

During the House Republicans’ retreat this week, House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., revealed, “We’ve not sent it over yet. And the very simple answer for that, and the reason for it, is because we’re in the middle of funding the government in the appropriations process.”

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Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testifies before the House Homeland Security Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on April 19, 2023. (REUTERS/Sarah Silbiger)

He noted that there is a small window in which the Senate will be required to process the articles, and “we didn’t want to interrupt the Senate and their floor time and their deliberation on appropriations, because we’ve risked shutting the government down.”

According to Johnson, they will be delivered in “due course.”

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In a narrow second attempt at impeaching Mayorkas last month, the House was successful. By a vote of 214-213, two articles of impeachment were approved against the DHS secretary. One accused him of having “refused to comply with Federal immigration laws” and the other of having violated “public trust.”

Reps. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis.; Ken Buck, R-Colo.; and Tom McClintock, R-Calif., voted against the impeachment. 

The first attempt to pass the articles was brought down by four Republican defections, one of which was a procedural move by Rep. Blake Moore, R-Utah, which allowed the resolution to be brought back to the floor. 

Mike Johnson walking in the Capitol

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., said the impeachment articles will be delivered in “due course.” (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

“I expect it will be dismissed” by the Democratic caucus, Sen. Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., told Fox News Digital.

Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., similarly shared that he is hoping for a “quick dismissal.”

Also urging the Senate to get past the impeachment articles, Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., said, “Let’s turn the page and move on and deal with the problems and challenges that we face,” calling the impeachment both “nonsense” and “shameful behavior.”

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Sen Brian Schatz

Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, speaks to reporters outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 6, 2022. (Anna Rose Layden/Getty Images)

Democrats are in the majority in the Senate and will ultimately decide how the body moves forward once the articles are delivered. And since it would only require a simple majority to table the impeachment, the upper chamber may opt to do so. 

Their Republican counterparts signaled an expectation that Democrats will move to table the articles. 

“I assume the Democrats will try and table it,” said Republican Whip John Thune, R-S.D., who added his conference will do “everything we can to get them to conduct a trial.”

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Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., said she has heard “rumors” that Democrats were interested in tabling it. “I don’t expect a full trial to happen at this point,” she said. “But I think it should.”

Capito at a hearing

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., speaks during the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee markup of the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act of 2021 in Washington, D.C., on May 26, 2021. (Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

For many Democratic senators, it just isn’t on their radar. The Senate is notably working on several issues, including federal nominations; aid to Ukraine and Israel; Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act reform; Federal Aviation Administration re-authorization; and appropriations, with a March 22 deadline coming up for the last slate of funding bills. 

“I haven’t given virtually any thought to the political charade around Secretary Mayorkas, so that’s just not been high on my radar screen,” said Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., who explained that “serious issues” surrounding China and Ukraine are taking precedence. 

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“Who gives a s—?” said Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa. He added that the Mayorkas impeachment would not be the last of the “dumb s—” that House Republicans have done. 

Fetterman walking with phone

“Who gives a s—?” Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., said of the Mayorkas impeachment effort. (Nathan Howard/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

However, Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., and Ben Cardin, D-Md., emphasized the importance of their status as jurors in the matter of the DHS secretary’s impeachment. 

“As an impartial juror on all of the above, I’ve always been the same with any type of impeachment that I’m not going to predetermine or have any bias towards what’s going to happen,” said Cortez Masto. 

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Cardin echoed, “I’ve always taken the position as a juror, I shouldn’t talk about that publicly.” The senator noted, however, that he has “pretty strong views,” adding that reporters could probably guess them. 

DHS did not provide comment on the Senate’s procedure for the articles of impeachment to Fox News Digital. 

Mayorkas

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is expected to face a House impeachment vote. (Getty Images)

Following the House’s vote last month, DHS spokesperson Mia Ehrenberg said in a statement, “House Republicans will be remembered by history for trampling on the Constitution for political gain rather than working to solve the serious challenges at our border.” 

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“Without a shred of evidence or legitimate Constitutional grounds, and despite bipartisan opposition, House Republicans have falsely smeared a dedicated public servant who has spent more than 20 years enforcing our laws and serving our country,” she continued. 

Despite several Senate Republicans criticizing the House’s attempt to impeach Mayorkas, many Republicans have changed their tune and expressed their interest in the Senate holding a full trial.

Fox News Digital’s Liz Elkind contributed to this report.

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