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House will send impeachment articles against Mayorkas to Senate on April 10

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas speaks during the U.S. Conference of Mayors' Winter Meeting in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024.(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Jose Luis Magana
/
AP
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas speaks during the U.S. Conference of Mayors' Winter Meeting in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024.(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

House Republicans will deliver two articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas to the Senate on April 10, Speaker Mike Johnson announced Thursday.

Johnson and the Republican House members assigned to prosecute the impeachment shared the update in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. They urged Schumer to "schedule a trial on the matter expeditiously."

Schumer and his staff have promised to start the process of swearing senators in as jurors the day after the articles are received in the chamber. Washington Senator Patty Murray, the Senate President Pro Tempore, will preside over the trial.

The Housepassed the two articles of impeachment by one vote in February — with only Republican support — making Mayorkas the first cabinet member to be impeached since William Belknap, secretary of war under President Ulysses S. Grant, in 1876. Three Republicans voted with all Democrats against the impeachment.

But the proceedings stalled as lawmakers negotiated must-pass spending bills and worked to avert a government shutdown. Lawmakers chose to pause the impeachment process because Senate rules require all other business to be suspended while impeachment is prosecuted on the Senate floor.

The articles accuse Mayorkas of "willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law" in enforcing border policy and "breach public trust." After their passage, Schumer called the impeachment effort against Mayorkas a "sham," and said in statement that Republicans have failed to demonstrate that the secretary has committed any impeachable offenses.

The Democratically-controlled Senate is widely expected to acquit or otherwise sidestep the charges and allow Mayorkas to remain in his role. Some Republicans in the upper chamber have also expressed doubts that Mayorkas' actions rise to the "high crimes and misdemeanors" standard set by the Constitution for impeachments.

NPR's Eric McDaniel contributed to this report.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Lexie Schapitl is a production assistant with NPR's Washington Desk, where she produces radio pieces and digital content. She also reports from the field and assists with production of the NPR Politics Podcast.