House Speaker Mike Johnson will send Mayorkas impeachment to the Senate next month

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Mike Johnson on Thursday indicated he will send articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to the Senate shortly after Congress returns to Washington next month.

The Republican speaker said he would send the two articles on April 10. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer plans to swear in senators as jurors in the trial the next day, according to his office. The House impeached Mayorkas on a razor-thin party-line vote in February, but Johnson had delayed sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate while Congress addressed funding for the government.

Impeachment for Mayorkas, who would be the first Cabinet secretary to receive the punishment in nearly 150 years, is expected to quickly fizzle in the Democratic-controlled Senate. Republicans took the action against Mayorkas to rebuke his handling of the nation’s southern border, but critics, including a few Republicans, say the House did not demonstrate that the Cabinet secretary’s actions reached the Constitution’s bar of high crimes and misdemeanors.

“House Republicans failed to present any evidence of anything resembling an impeachable offense,” Schumer said after the House acted.

But Johnson argued in a statement that Mayorkas has “violated the public trust and willfully refused to follow federal immigration laws.”

“He deserves to be impeached and the American people demand that those responsible for the border crisis be held accountable,” Johnson said.

Still, some GOP senators have expressed skepticism about the House argument, and a conviction is highly unlikely. Two-thirds of the Senate would have to vote to convict as opposed to the simple majority needed to impeach in the House. That means all Republicans as well as a substantial number of Democrats would have to vote to convict Mayorkas.

However, a comprehensive trial would allow Republicans to continue to hammer on the Biden administration’s immigration policies. Johnson urged Schumer to hold “a full public trial” to show he cared about “ending the devastation caused by Biden’s border catastrophe.”

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