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Ray Bogan

Political Correspondent

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Politics

What Senate rules say about dismissing Mayorkas impeachment

Apr 15

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Ray Bogan

Political Correspondent

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The impeachment trial of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is set to begin on Tuesday, April 16, two months after he was impeached. The question is, will there be a full trial with a presentation of evidence? Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has not tipped his hand as to what he’ll do. Schumer has only said he wants it done quickly. 

“We want to address this issue as expeditiously as possible,” Schumer said during a speech April 10. “And as I said yesterday, impeachment should never be used to settle policy disagreements. That sets an awful precedent.”

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According to multiple Senate sources, Schumer is likely to make a motion to table the articles and trial. That would bring it to a swift end and prevent the House impeachment managers from presenting their case. 

However, most of the Senate Republican conference disagrees with the move and wrote a letter to Schumer calling for a full trial. 

“In every previous congressional impeachment of the past 227 years, Congress has been faithful to the process set out by the framers,” 43 Republicans said in the letter. “Never before has the Senate abandoned this duty, even when certain members believed the basis for impeachment was tenuous at best.”

“He does not want to allow the House managers to present the evidence of Alejandro Mayorkas and this administration’s willful decision to aid and abet this criminal invasion of this country,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said. 

There are step-by-step instructions on how to run a Senate impeachment trial in the Constitution and a list of rules that were first written in 1868. Trials begins at precisely 1 p.m. the day after the articles are delivered and each senator is required to take a special oath. 

There’s a lot of pomp and circumstance.

For example, the Senate Sergeant at Arms will begin by stating: ‘‘All persons are commanded to keep silence, on pain of imprisonment, while the House of Representatives is exhibiting to the Senate of the United States articles of impeachment against Alejandro Mayorkas.”

The rules also lay out how evidence shall be presented and provide rights for the accused. 

It also states, in part, that the Senate should “proceed to the consideration of such articles and shall continue in session from day to day after the trial shall commence — unless otherwise ordered by the Senate — until final judgment shall be rendered.”

The phrase, “unless otherwise ordered by the Senate,” is what would allow for the articles to be tabled with a simple majority vote. Every Democrat is expected to support a motion to table; some Republicans could join them. 

Republican Sens. Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Bill Cassidy, Tommy Tuberville, and Rand Paul declined to sign on to the letter to Schumer calling for a full trial. 

Tuberville has previously called the impeachment a “waste of time.”

“It’s the wrong policy, it has a huge damaging effect on the country, but it’s not a high crime or misdemeanor,” Romney said of Mayorkas’ border enforcement.

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[RAY BOGAN]

The impeachment trial of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is set to begin on Tuesday, two months after he was impeached. 

The question is – will there be a full trial with a presentation of evidence? Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has not tipped his hand as to what he’ll do. He’s only said he wants it done quickly. 

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.:

We want to address this issue as expeditiously as possible. And as I said yesterday, impeachment should never be used to settle policy disagreements. That sets an awful precedent.

[RAY BOGAN]

Sources say Schumer is likely to make a motion to table the articles and trial. That would bring it to a swift end, and prevent the House impeachment managers from presenting their case. 

43 Republican Senators wrote a letter to Schumer demanding a full trial take place. They wrote 

In every previous congressional impeachment of the past 227 years, Congress has been faithful to the process set out by the framers… Never before has the Senate abandoned this duty, even when certain members believed the basis for impeachment was tenuous at best.”

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-TX:

He does not want to allow the House managers to present the evidence of Alejandro Mayorkas and this administration’s willful decision to aid and abet this criminal invasion of this country.” 

[RAY BOGAN]

The constitution and these 26 rules that date back to 1868 lay out exactly how Senate trials are to be run step-by-step. The trial begins at precisely 1 o’clock the day after the articles are delivered and each Senator is required to take a special oath. 

There’s a lot of pomp and circumstance. 

As an example, the Senate Sergeant at Arms will begin by stating: 

‘‘All persons are commanded to keep silence, on pain of imprisonment, while the House of Representatives is exhibiting to the Senate of the United States articles of impeachment against Alejandro Mayorkas. ’

The document lays out how evidence shall be presented and provides rights for the accused. 

It also states, in part, that the Senate- “…proceed to the consideration of such articles and shall continue in session from day to day after the trial shall commence (unless otherwise ordered by the Senate) until final judgment shall be rendered…” 

Those six words, “unless otherwise ordered by the Senate”, are what would allow for the articles to be tabled with a simple majority vote. Every Democrat is expected to support a motion to talbe. Some Republicans could join them. 

Republican Senators Romney, Collins, Murkowski, Cassidy, Tuberville and Paul declined to sign on to the letter to Schumer calling for a full trial including 

Senator Tommy Tuberville who has previously called the impeachment a quote “waste of time”, and Senator Mitt Romney who said of Mayorkas’ border enforcement: “It’s the wrong policy, it has a huge damaging effect on the country – but it’s not a high crime or misdemeanor.” Straight from DC, I’m Ray Bogan.