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Thune, Rounds among U.S. Senate Republicans seeking Mayorkas impeachment trial

WASHINGTON — More than 40 U.S. Senate Republicans lobbied Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Thursday to hold a full impeachment trial for Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

Schumer and other Democrats have indicated they’d be open to immediately voting to dismiss the House-passed articles of impeachment rather than holding a trial in the Senate. The Republicans who signed the letter urged Schumer not to pursue that option, saying Mayorkas should be held accountable.

“In the face of the disaster that mounts daily at our southern border, and in communities across America, the House of Representatives has formally accused Alejandro Mayorkas of demeaning his office,” according to the letter signed by 43 Senate Republicans. “The American people deserve to hear the evidence through a Senate trial in the Court of Impeachment.”

Six Senate Republicans did not sign the letter: Sens. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Mitt Romney of Utah and Tommy Tuberville of Alabama.

A simple majority of senators would be needed to approve a pretrial motion to dismiss. Democrats and independents who typically vote with them hold a 51-49 advantage in the chamber.

House Republicans failed to impeach Mayorkas on their first try and needed a second vote to approve the articles of impeachment against the Homeland Security chief. No Democrats voted in favor.

The two articles of impeachment accuse Mayorkas of a “willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law,” and a breach of public trust. Democrats say the charges are based on policy disputes rather than the “high crimes and misdemeanors” threshold of an impeachable offense.

House Speaker Mike Johnson of Louisiana and 11 House Republican impeachment managers had planned to ceremoniously walk over the two articles of impeachment to the Senate on Wednesday, which would have forced Schumer to begin the impeachment process the following day. But at the request of Senate Republicans concerned with catching flights back home the same day proceedings would start, Johnson delayed the delivery.

In a Tuesday statement announcing the delay, a Johnson spokesperson also said the Senate should not dismiss the charges without a trial.

“To ensure the Senate has adequate time to perform its constitutional duty, the House will transmit the articles of impeachment to the Senate next week,” the Johnson spokesperson wrote in a statement. “There is no reason whatsoever for the Senate to abdicate its responsibility to hold an impeachment trial.”

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