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GOP senators press McConnell to back Mayorkas impeachment trial, warning Schumer wants to table it

"Chuck Schumer is trying to break over 200 years of Senate precedent by tabling the impeachment trial of Alejandro Mayorkas," says Sen. Cruz

Published: February 21, 2024 11:00pm

Senate Republicans are stepping up pressure on Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to support a full impeachment trial of Homeland Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, warning that chamber Majority Leader Chuck Schumer doesn't want to hold a vote on the GOP House-passed impeachment resolution.

"Chuck Schumer is trying to break over 200 years of Senate precedent by tabling the impeachment trial," Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas., a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote Wednesday on his X account. "This would deny the American people the chance to hear the evidence about Biden’s lawless open border policy."

Before the GOP-led House formally passed two articles of impeachment against Mayorkas, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., predicted that Schumer, a New York Democrat, would attempt to block a Senate trial from taking place but it's unclear how Schumer intends to do it.

Manchin said he personally wants to “get rid of it as quick as possible.” 

Democrats have a 51-49 majority in the Senate, which historically allows the chamber's majority leader to schedule most or all final – or "floor" – votes. 

The impeachment articles are related to Mayorkas' handling of the southern U.S. border crisis, alleging a "breach of trust" and a "willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law."

Now that the House has passed the impeachment resolution, Senate Republicans want McConnell to commit to supporting a trial. His office was not available for comment before press time Wednesday. It is unclear whether the Kentucky Republican is in favor of a Senate impeachment trial taking place.

A group of GOP senators signed a letter that was sent to him on Tuesday asking for his formal support.

There is speculation behind the scenes, Just the News has learned from a GOP congressional source, that Schumer could try referring the articles to the committee level and allow the resolution to die out or hold a vote to table the resolution altogether. 

According to the GOP lawmakers who sent the letter to McConnell, it "remains to be seen" whether Senate rules would allow Democratic leaders to vote to table both articles of impeachment, given that it has never taken place before in U.S. history. 

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, one of the senators to sign the letter, responded on X to a report that 7.2 million illegal immigrants have entered the U.S. under Biden's presidency, saying, "Time to hold a Senate trial for Mayorkas."

Lee said the Senate has never before not acted on articles of impeachment sent to the Senate from the House.

"Mayorkas facilitated an invasion by ten million illegal immigrants," he said. "This isn’t a good time to ignore the Constitution and centuries of precedent. No time is a good time to do that. The Senate must conduct an impeachment trial."

Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., who unsuccessfully challenged McConnell for the GOP leader post in 2022, said the Senate has a "constitutional responsibility to conduct a thorough trial following the House's impeachment articles against Sec. Mayorkas." Scott was one of the senators to sign the letter to McConnell.

"We must hold Mayorkas accountable for his TOTAL neglect of securing our southern border," Scott wrote on his X account.

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