Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday denounced a House Committee’s vote to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas as a “sham,” and said House Republicans are pushing it only to “appease” former President Trump.
Schumer condemned the House impeachment proceedings as “absurd,” signaling that Senate Democrats will likely bury articles of impeachment against Mayorkas if they pass the House.
“What House Republicans are doing by advancing this sham impeachment effort is denigrating our Constitution, all for the sake of appeasing one person and one person only — Donald Trump,” he said on the Senate floor. “And let this be clear, this unserious spectacle by House Republicans does nothing, nothing, to secure the border.”
Schumer lambasted the House Homeland Security Committee for voting along party lines early Wednesday morning to advance what he called “absurd” charges against Mayorkas despite lacking evidence that he committed any crimes.
Schumer said most Americans were “fast asleep” when the House panel approved the charges, suggesting they were operating under the cover of night to hide their lack of evidence against the Cabinet official.
“They have not shown that he has violated the Constitution. House Republicans have failed to produce any evidence of anything resembling an impeachable offense,” he said.
Schumer accused House Republicans of not being serious about solving the problems at the border, noting that a bipartisan group of Senate negotiators are working on reforms to asylum law and parole policies.
“While senators on both sides of the aisle are actually negotiating in good faith on border security, House Republicans keep exploiting the border only for political gain. Only to help Donald Trump on the campaign trail, instead of working to solve the problem,” he said.
Senate aides predict that Schumer would likely refer any House-passed articles of impeachment against Mayorkas to a special Senate evidentiary committee, which would review the charges until later in the year — possibly after the November election.
That’s what the Senate did the last time the House presented articles of impeachment to the Senate for a federal officeholder below the level of the president.
In 2010, then Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) punted impeachment charges against Louisiana Judge Thomas Porteous to a special Senate committee and the full Senate didn’t vote on the matter until after that year’s midterm election.
The House Homeland Security Committee voted along party lines, 18-15, early Wednesday to advance articles of impeachment accusing Mayorkas of “willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law” and “breach of public trust.”
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