Ted Cruz argues that Senate has constitutional obligation to hold impeachment trial of Mayorkas

Sen. Cruz began his remarks by saying, “There are times when the eyes of history are upon the United States Senate. This is one of those times."
Cruz on Wednesday

A coalition of Republican senators is calling out Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, for his purported plan to table the impeachment charges against Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

Before Schumer adjourned the Senate on Thursday, Republican senators made their case for what they say is the Senate’s constitutional duty to hold an impeachment trial for the man House Republicans impeached on two counts, alleging he created the border crisis.

In his statement before the Senate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who began his law career as a clerk for Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist, discussed the process, the constitutional requirement for the Senate to hold a trial, and the consequences if it doesn’t.

He began his remarks by saying, “There are times when the eyes of history are upon the United States Senate. This is one of those times. We are facing today an existential crisis at our southern border. It is qualitatively different than anything we have ever faced at our southern border in the history of our nation.”

He next explained why Mayorkas was impeached by House Republicans: not because he is “incompetent,” “negligent,” or “bad at his job.” But because he “is very, very good at his job,” which he “does not view as securing the border … as protecting our homeland security.”

“Rather, he views his job as openly and directly violating, flouting federal law and aiding and abetting the criminal invasion of this United States. He is not trying to secure the border. He is trying to accelerate the invasion that is happening. He wants more illegal aliens and more criminal, illegal aliens released into this country. Under the Biden administration, 10.4 million illegal immigrants have been released into this country and Senate Democrats are desperate to avoid the misery and suffering and death that their radical policies have produced.” His figure excludes gotaways, those who evade capture.

The Biden administration and Congressional Democrats say Mayorkas' impeachment was politically motivated and that impeachment should not be used as a weapon over policy disagreements, arguing Republicans presented no evidence the Homeland Security secretary committed "high crimes and misdemeanors."

But Cruz cited numerous examples of “misery and death” resulting from Mayorkas policies, including Americans killed by criminal aliens; raped, abused and murdered by foreign nationals; and transnational criminal organizations profiting $13 billion from the crisis.

“That's why the House impeached Alejandro Mayorkas. Now, what is the Senate to do when impeachment occurs?” he asked. “Well, fortunately, we have a document that tells us what to do. It's called the Constitution of the United States. Under the Constitution, it is the sole power of the House to impeach and the sole power and responsibility of the Senate to try."

Cruz cited 21 occasions in American history when the U.S. House impeached and sent the articles of impeachment to the Senate. Of those 21 times, Cruz noted, the Senate once dismissed the articles outright because it concluded it didn't have jurisdiction to oust the person impeached, a sitting U.S. senator.

In three others, "the individuals impeached were no longer in office. The Senate didn't act because it was moot," Cruz said.

"In the remaining 17 times, all of them, 100% of the time, the Senate conducted a trial," he said. "The Senate heard evidence and the Senate adjudicated guilt or innocence."

“Well, next week when the articles arrive, we are told that Senator Schumer intends not to proceed to a trial, not to follow the Senate rules of impeachment, not to allow any evidence, but simply to move to table, to throw it out at the outset set.”

If they do this, Cruz said, it could lead to unintended consequences. If after the November election, Donald Trump is reelected president, Republicans retake the Senate, and Democrats retake the House, they will face a similar scenario, he said. Under that hypothetic scenario, House Democrats could try to impeach Trump, and Senate Republicans could refuse to try him.

“What Senate Democrats will have done is effectively eliminated the Senate's power of impeachment any time the Senate is the same party as the president,” Cruz said.

He also explained that Republicans could have employed the same tactics as Schumer when Trump was impeached twice by Democrats who controlled the House at the time. Republicans who controlled the Senate held a trial both times, voting to acquit him.

“My question for my colleagues,” Cruz asked, “is there even one Democrat who cares about the institution of the Senate, who cares about the Constitution, who cares about democracy?”