Senate votes within hours to dismiss Mayorkas impeachment trial

  • The House impeached Mayorkas on Feb. 13 over his handling of the U.S.-Mexico border.
  • A Cabinet secretary hasn’t been impeached in roughly 150 years.
  • Senators were sworn in as jurors Wednesday and voted to effectively end the trial before arguments ever began.

Senate Democrats voted Wednesday to dismiss both impeachment articles against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, ending the GOP push to remove the Cabinet secretary from office.

The jurors were sworn in after receiving the case Tuesday from House Republicans, who impeached Mayorkas on Feb. 13 over his handling of the U.S.-Mexico border.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer then called for votes to dismiss, which passed since Democrats control the Senate and were united against the impeachment effort.

The two votes effectively ended the trial before arguments ever began.

Schumer had said previously he wanted to "address this issue as expeditiously as possible."

"Impeachment should never be used to settle a policy disagreement," Schumer said. "That would set a horrible precedent for the Congress."

An outright dismissal of House Republicans’ prosecution of Mayorkas, with no chance to argue the case, is an embarrassing defeat for House Republicans and embattled House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., who made the impeachment a priority. And it is likely to resonate politically for both Republicans and Democrats in a presidential election year when border security has been a top issue.

Why was Mayorkas impeached?


FILE - U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas being sworn in before testifying to the House Homeland Security Committee about the Biden Administrations FY2025 budget request on April 16, 2024 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Chip Somodevill

The Republican-controlled House impeached Mayorkas by a single vote margin on Feb. 13, recommending that he be removed from office over his handling of the US-Mexico border. 

READ MORE: Mayorkas impeachment: House GOP votes to oust DHS secretary

With two articles of impeachment, the House charged that Mayorkas had "willfully and systematically" refused to enforce existing immigration laws and breached the public trust by lying to Congress and saying the border was secure.

Democrats said the charges against Mayorkas amounted to a policy dispute, not the "high crimes and misdemeanors" laid out as a bar for impeachment in the Constitution.

This story was reported from Detroit. The Associated Press contributed.