web analytics

Schumer Opens Can of Worms with Mayorkas Impeachment Dismissal

Troubling precedent or business of the majority?

The Senate voted to dismiss the impeachment proceedings against Homeland Security chief Alejandro Mayorkas for his handling of the border crisis late April 17 without hearing any of the evidence. In what may turn out to be a dangerous precedent, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) held a string of votes to entirely dismiss the two articles of impeachment before the merits of the case could be presented. The question must now be asked whether the majority – of either party – could simply play politics with the nation’s most important decisions.

Mayorkas Survives – But What Did It Cost?

For the first time in almost 150 years – and only for the second time in the nation’s history – a cabinet secretary has been impeached. The first, Secretary of War William Belknap, was acquitted in 1876 after a majority of the Senate found him guilty of all charges but failed to reach the two-thirds majority required to convict. This time, however, the drawn-out efforts of House Republicans to bring the two articles against Mayorkas were ultimately quashed without the Senate ever holding a trial. Senator Schumer’s decision to hold dismissal votes and kill the effort in its embryonic state was heralded by the Department of Homeland Security as proof positive that the top dog of the agency had done no wrong.

In an almost Kafkaesque statement, DHS said that dismissing the two articles “proves definitively that there was no evidence or Constitutional grounds to justify impeachment.” Many may be wondering whether an actual trial is the appropriate place to determine guilt or innocence rather than the majority steamrolling the minority.

The votes fell almost precisely along party lines with only Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski (R) voting “present” on the first article, which claimed “willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law.” The reality is that other Republicans may have sided with Democrats as well had the articles been debated. Instead, Mr. Schumer made a gambit that brings into question the legitimacy of this and any future congressional actions.

Dems Were Not Alone

A number of Republican senators suggested that they believed Secretary Mayorkas’ actions were not impeachable and that they would have voted alongside Democrats to dismiss had even a semblance of debate occurred. “There’s no question that had there been a fulsome debate and discussion that you could have seen several of us vote in in favor of dismissal,” said Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah).

By avoiding a trial – or even a debate – future senators and leaders now have a tacit green light to do precisely the same thing in any future impeachment proceedings. Should former President Donald Trump return to office after the November election, the odds of Democrats attempting to impeach him are high – after all, they did so twice already and both times the case was heard in full by the Senate. But if the GOP manages to flip the upper chamber majority, any efforts Democrats make could be entirely DOA. After all, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

Senator Ted Cruz rightly predicted that Sen. Schumer would not let a trial go ahead during his most recent Verdict podcast appearance. He said Senate Democrats were:

“Willing to throw the Constitution in the trash in order to avoid any national attention on the disaster that is playing out on our southern border.

“Schumer and the Democrats are terrified of the evidence of the suffering of the people who’ve died, of the people of the children who’ve been sexually assaulted, of the women who’ve been sexually assaulted, of the fentanyl deaths and the drug overdose deaths… He doesn’t want that evidence put before the American people.”

An Abdication of Responsibility?

Noted parliamentarian, philosopher, and economist John Stuart Mill wrote in his 1859 essay “On Liberty,” that “the tyranny of the majority” is an inherent weakness best expressed when the majority pursues its own objectives at the expense of the minority.

In an impeachment trial, the senators act as jurors; it is their role to evaluate the evidence and decide the fate of the individual in question based on what they hear. That is not what happened here. The Democrat majority took it upon themselves to declare that no trial should take place – essentially saying that evidence is irrelevant when they have the numbers and politics is in play.

Read More From Liberty Nation Authors

Latest Posts

Can Trump Win the Libertarian Vote in 2024?

Former President Donald Trump was in Washington, DC, last night, May 25, making his case to the attendees at the...