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US House to deliver Mayorkas impeachment articles to Senate in April

republicans end weeks of gridlock as US House elects new speaker
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The US House of Representatives will send articles of impeachment against President Joe Biden’s immigration chief to the Senate on April 10, Republican Speaker Mike Johnson said Thursday — sparking a trial that would likely begin the following day.

House Republicans blame Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, a Democrat, for a surge in illegal entries from Mexico that they have called a “humanitarian catastrophe.”

They impeached him in February — the culmination of months of attacks on the Democratic administration as they seek to make border security a key issue in November’s election.

Lawmakers passed two articles accusing him of “willful and systemic refusal” to enforce immigration law and “breach of public trust,” making him the first cabinet secretary to be impeached in nearly 150 years.

Johnson and his impeachment managers told Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in a letter the evidence against Mayorkas was “clear, comprehensive and compelling.”

“If he cares about the constitution and ending the devastation caused by Biden’s border catastrophe, Senator Schumer will quickly schedule a full public trial and hear the arguments put forth by our impeachment managers,” Johnson said in a statement.

Schumer at the time called the process a “sham” while Biden rebuked Republicans for what he termed a “blatant act of unconstitutional partisanship.”

The outcome was unprecedented as the House has only ever impeached one other cabinet official — Secretary of War William Belknap in 1876 — and that was over serious allegations of corruption rather than a straightforward policy disagreement.

Seen as the political equivalent of an indictment, the impeachment is largely symbolic, as Mayorkas is certain to be acquitted if his trial goes ahead in the Democratic-led Senate.

“As we have said previously, after the House impeachment managers present the articles of impeachment to the Senate, senators will be sworn in as jurors in the trial the next day,” Schumer’s office said in a statement.

The Senate can move to dismiss the articles at this point or jam up the process for months by sending them to a committee. Either option would require a majority on the floor.

Democrats have a 51-49 advantage over Republicans in the upper chamber.

The impeachment came amid a showdown between the House and the Senate over curbing a surge in illegal immigration, which hit a record 10,000 apprehensions a day at the US-Mexico border in December.

House Republicans have been accused of acting in bad faith on the impeachment, especially after coming out against a bipartisan deal hammered out in the upper chamber that would have imposed the toughest asylum and border policies in decades.

Twenty-five legal experts called the push “utterly unjustified” in an open letter, and their arguments have been echoed by constitutional scholars who have spoken in Congress against Donald Trump’s impeachments, including Jonathan Turley and Alan Dershowitz.


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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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