Mike Johnson Announces Major Move

OPINION:  This article contains commentary which may reflect the author’s opinion

The Senate will receive official articles of impeachment against Alejandro Mayorkas, the secretary of homeland security, according to House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA).

The action, scheduled for April 10, represents a significant step toward an impeachment trial and highlights the shortcomings of the Biden administration’s immigration and border management policies once more.

Speaker Johnson demanded an urgent expedited trial in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). The 11 Republicans selected as impeachment managers cosigned the letter, which accused Mayorkas of misleading Congress and the public and neglecting to enforce current immigration rules. It also emphasized the constitutional and historical grounds for Mayorkas’ dismissal.

“As Speaker and impeachment managers of the U.S. House of Representatives, we write to inform you that we will present to you upon the Senate’s return, on April 10, 2024, the duly passed articles of impeachment regarding Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas,” wrote Johnson. “We urge you to schedule a trial of the matter expeditiously.”

“The Secretary is responsible for releasing millions of illegal aliens into the interior and creating unlawful massparole programs,” Johnson continued.

“Throughout his tenure, he has repeatedly lied to Congress and the American people about the scope of the crisis and his role in it. His unlawful actions are responsible for the historic crisis that has devastated communities throughout our country, from the smallest border town in Texas to New York City.”

Since 1876, no such action has been taken against a Cabinet secretary until the impeachment attempt. Following a fairly close vote, the House last month decided to impeach Mayorkas on two counts of negligence of duty and violation of public trust. This action demonstrated internal Republican efforts to hold the Biden administration responsible for its shortcomings in policing the southern border.

“The constitutional grounds for Secretary Mayorkas’ conviction and removal from office are well-founded, and the historical record is clear,” the letter read.

Given the Democratic majority and the likelihood of a prompt dismissal of the charges, a Senate conviction seems improbable; yet, Johnson and his allies view this gesture as a constitutional duty to confront and correct executive abuse and mismanagement.

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer has not yet specified how the Senate will proceed with the trial; however, according to Fox News, his office confirmed that senators will be sworn in as jurors the day after receiving the articles of impeachment, with Senate President Pro Tempore Patty Murray presiding over the proceedings.

This creates the conditions for a heated discussion over border security and immigration, topics that will continue to dominate American politics, particularly in the run-up to the 2024 presidential election. Democratic leaders and opponents of the impeachment argue that the evidence against Mayorkas falls short of the high standard for “high crimes and misdemeanors” necessary for impeachment.

The Democratic response also draws attention to what they see as the politicization of constitutional procedures for political advantage, highlighting the unlikely outcome of a Senate conviction and casting doubt on the strategic sense of pursuing impeachment without a certain means of success.

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