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Senate Republican leadership pushes for full impeachment trial of Alejandro Mayorkas

John Thune and Mitch McConnell stated that the Upper House must determine whether the Secretary of Homeland Security committed "impeachable crimes."

John Thune

Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call/Sipa U / Cordon Press

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In mid-February, the House of Representatives voted to impeach Alejandro Mayorkas, understanding that the Secretary of Homeland Security evidenced a “deliberate and systematic refusal to comply with the law.” Now, the only thing missing for the official to be removed is a vote by the Senate, whose Democratic leadership is unwilling to facilitate. However, the Republican leadership of the Upper House is pushing for at least a full trial.

John Thune (R-SD), number two of the GOP in the Senate, declared on Tuesday that the House vote had to be respected and the impeachment initiative should be treated seriously.

“The House of Representatives has determined that Secretary Mayorkas has committed impeachable offenses. That issue will come before the United States Senate. I believe the Senate needs to hold a trial,” he said at the weekly press conference held by the Republican leadership of the Senate.

“I’m going to make the argument — and I’m sure the Democrats will try to dismiss it — that we ought to be having a trial, conducting a trial of the United States Senate to determine whether these are impeachable offenses,” Thune added.

As for Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Republican minority leader, he echoed his colleague’s comments and noted that a full trial “would be the best way forward.”

At the same time, he acknowledged that the management of the situation depends directly on the Democrats, who currently hold a majority of 51-49. However, the 2024 elections present a particularly uphill map for Joe Biden’s party since they will have to defend seats in purple or directly red states, such as West Virginia, Montana, Ohio, Arizona, Nevada and Pennsylvania, among others.

In terms of how it’s going to be handled, that would be up to Schumer,” McConnell added, referring to Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

The leadership’s intentions go hand in hand with a letter they received from the most conservative in the Upper House. Rick Scott (R-FL), Mike Lee (R-UT), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Eric Schmitt (R-MO), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Josh Hawley (R-MO), JD Vance (R-OH), Mike Braun (R-IN), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Ted Budd (R-NC), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) signed the letter, arguing that it would be unacceptable for the Senate to reject Mayorkas’ impeachment trial outright.

The letter asked that leadership “ensure that the Senate conducts a proper trial and that every senator, Republican and Democrat, speaks on this matter when the Senate returns.”