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Mayorkas Impeachment Sails for the Senate – And There It Shall Sink

There’s a good chance it won’t even go to trial.

Congress will be back from vacation this coming week: Monday for the Senate and Tuesday for the House. Shortly thereafter, the impeachment of DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas will be presented to the upper chamber for consideration – but don’t expect much in the way of a grand battle on the Senate floor. Indeed, there’s a good chance it won’t go to trial at all.

Much Ado About Nothing

“A pointless exercise that benefits only your opponents” was what Liberty Nation’s Graham J. Noble called the GOP’s first failed impeachment of Secretary Mayorkas. Indeed, getting an impeachment in the House is relatively easy, so long as the impeaching party holds at least a simple majority and can present even remotely plausible arguments. Donald Trump was impeached not once but twice by a partisan Democrat majority in the House on made-up charges, some of which don’t even represent actual crimes – collusion with Russia, anyone? Convicting someone in the Senate, however, is another matter entirely. Trump was exonerated not once but twice by the Senate even after a little over half a dozen Republicans voted with the Democrats to convict. The US Constitution states:

“The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath of Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.”

That two-thirds majority is difficult to attain. Perhaps that’s why no president or cabinet member has yet been removed from office by impeachment conviction in the Senate. Of nearly two dozen impeachments to go before the upper chamber, only eight – all against federal judges – have resulted in conviction. That the House GOP managed to impeach Secretary Mayorkas the second go around means very little. Just as Democrats had to know both times they impeached Trump that the then-president would have little to fear from a Senate trial, Republicans today must realize the same is true for Mayorkas. Not only do Democrats hold the upper chamber 51-49, but a few Republican senators have either questioned the impeachment or announced they’d vote to exonerate or even to avoid a trial all together. As an interesting aside, those names – Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Mitt Romney of Utah – also appear on the list of Republicans who voted to convict Donald Trump. And, of course, as Mr. Noble also pointed out back in February, even if Mayorkas were to lose his job, Biden would almost certainly replace him with someone equally bad – or, perhaps, even worse!

The End Is Nigh – Just Not for Mayorkas

As Congress returns from its vacation this coming week, it seems the end is nigh for this impeachment process – though likely not for Mayorkas, himself. The House is expected to formally present the impeachment articles Wednesday, April 10. According to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) letter to his colleagues laying out the “busy agenda” for the coming month on Friday, April 5, he plans to address it immediately. “Please be advised that all Senators will be sworn in as jurors in the trial the day after the articles are presented, and Senate President Pro Tempore Patty Murray will preside,” Schumer wrote. “I remind Senators that your presence next week is essential.”

There is also a good chance Schumer will quickly call for a vote to either dismiss or table the impeachment rather than actually hold a trial. The Constitution empowers the Senate to try impeachments, but it doesn’t explicitly require it. Despite Speaker of the House Mike Johnson’s (R-LA) statement that to “table articles of impeachment without ever hearing a single argument or reviewing a piece of evidence would be a violation of our constitutional order an affront to the American people whom we all serve,” it seems that’s precisely what Schumer is planning to do – no matter how much Johnson beseeches him to “fulfill your constitutional duty to hold this trial.” Should Democrats call for a dismissal, it would only require a simple majority – a vote they’d almost certainly win, given their simple majority and the aforementioned “Republicans” likely to vote with them. Even if the Democrats humored Republicans by holding a “full trial,” it’s unlikely to last long – or, for that matter, make any difference. Far more likely, though, it seems the House will present articles on Wednesday, Schumer will swear in the senators as jurors on Thursday, and by Friday they could be voting to kill the impeachment, neatly closing the book before the weekend.

Read More From James Fite

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