Senate Republicans Consider Mayorkas Impeachment Trial Amid Border Concerns

A growing list of GOP Senators supports full impeachment for DHS Secretary

Lawrence Jones talks with Texas residents on border crisis

Brownsville residents Luis Cavazos, and Susan Ruvalcaba discuss how the border crisis has affected their community and the influx of illegal immigrants.

Senate Republicans have come out in support of a trial being held for Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Mayorkas was impeached more than two weeks ago by the House due to his actions and advice regarding the southern border, illegal immigration, and other issues.

A growing list of Republican senators — not confined to hard-line conservatives — have voiced their support for a full impeachment trial for Mayorkas after the Republican-controlled House approved articles this month.

At first, some Republican senators were predicting the end of the impeachment attempt in the Senate by the House.

Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said that he believed Mayorkas was responsible for enforcing the “disastrous” immigration policies of President Biden, but he’s not in favor of a trial before the upper chamber. He wrote on X (formerly Twitter) that while an impeachment might be good politics, it is not the solution to bad policy. It would also set a dangerous precedent.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testifies.

Recently, Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) told reporters, “It will fail in the Senate.”

He said, “If I may use a term from the House: it’ll be dead when it arrives.”

Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) didn’t hesitate to criticize his House colleagues over the efforts. He told Axios that impeachment is “the dumbest, worst exercise and use time.”

In the weeks that followed the House vote, however, more Republican Senators came out in support of a trial to determine Mayorkas’s impeachment. The Republicans who support a trial do not only come from the hard-liner faction in the Senate GOP. This shows a more united Republican position.

Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla.

Last week, a group led by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) called on Mitch McConnell (R-Ky. ), Minority Leader, to “demand” that a Senate trial be held. The letter was signed by senators. Ted Cruz, R. Texas, Eric Schmitt R. Missouri, Rick Scott R. Florida, Ron Johnson R. Wisconsin, JDVance R. Ohio, Roger Marshall R. Kan. Josh Hawley R. Missouri, Mike Braun R. Indiana, Tommy Tuberville R. Alabama, Ted Budd R. N.C. Cynthia Lummis R. Wyoming, Marsha Blackburn R. Tennessee.

McConnell, the Minority Whip, and John Thune, the R-S.D., have both expressed their support for a court trial on Tuesday. Thune, during a recent press conference, cited the House’s decision to impeach Mayorkas and said, “This issue will be brought before the United States Senate.” I think the Senate should hold a trial.

McConnell told reporters later that a trial was “the best course of action.”

McConnell said to reporters that the “best way forward” is for Mayorkas to be tried.

Sens. Katie Britt (R-Ala.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), and Steve Daines (R-Mont.) have all said they support an impeachment hearing.

Britt said that the Senate should follow its constitutional mandate and conduct a fair trial in public view.

John Cornyn (R-Texas) reiterated that his House colleagues had the right to impeach Mayorkas. He even went so far as to say Mayorkas should be impeached for lying under oath when he said the border was secure.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas

The office of Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho) did not confirm his support for the trial but stated that he intends to serve as a juror, and will withhold judgment until it is completed.

The Department of Homeland Security refused to comment on this development, referring back to its previous statement about the House’s vote to impeach.

Mia Ehrenberg is the spokesperson for DHS. She wrote: “History will remember House Republicans for trampling the Constitution to achieve political gains rather than working on serious border challenges.”

She continued, “While Secretary Mayorkas helped a group of Republican and Democratic Senators to develop bipartisan solutions for border security, and obtain needed resources for enforcement of the law, House Republicans wasted months on this baseless and unconstitutional impeachment.”

A trial is unlikely to succeed despite the growing support from Republicans for it. It would take a Senate majority of two-thirds to convict Mayorkas and remove him from his position. Republicans are the minority in the Senate, and the members of the conference who have joined Democrats to criticize the House’s impeachment have made it unlikely that Mayorkas will be convicted and removed.

The Senate will decide the next step after the procedural requirements are met, such as the delivery and reading to the Senate of articles by House managers selected, the swearing-in of senators jurors, and the issuance of a summons for Mayorkas. The Senate can dismiss the trial with a simple majority. This is what Democrats could do since they have the advantage of 51-49 over Republicans because the independent senators are all members of the Senate Democrats.