Senate Republicans consider retaliation for the rejection of Mayorkas impeachment trial

Senate Republicans reacted strongly to the dismissal of impeachment ⁤charges ⁤against Homeland Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas by warning Democrats of potential regrets for skipping a ⁤trial. The fallout included political ramifications, with Republicans blaming Mayorkas‍ for⁢ the southern border crisis and vowing consequences on Election Day. This unprecedented move sets a significant precedent, sparking ‍debates on congressional norms and⁤ the future of impeachment ⁣proceedings.

Republicans reacted to the dismissal of impeachment charges against Homeland Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Wednesday with a warning: Democrats would soon regret their decision to skip a trial.

The most immediate repercussion was political. Senate Republicans have spent months blaming Mayorkas for the crisis at the southern border and promised that vulnerable Democrats would be reminded of their vote to declare the articles unconstitutional on Election Day.

“Americans are outraged that Democrats are welcoming this invasion. Every Democrat will pay a heavy price in November for willfully refusing to end this border crisis,” said Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), the No. 3 Republican in the Senate.

But the most lasting effect of Wednesday’s impeachment trial, which Democrats concluded without hearing from the House impeachment managers alleging Mayorkas willfully ignored federal immigration law, was the precedent it set.

For the first time in history, the Senate cut short the impeachment proceedings of a sitting Cabinet official.

Republicans compared the decision to then-Democratic Leader Harry Reid “nuking” the filibuster for judges in 2013, which his Republican successor, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), used as grounds to usher in an era of conservative jurisprudence, including the appointment of three Supreme Court justices.

If Senate Democrats could ignore the House’s articles of impeachment, then Republicans could do the same, they warned.

“Mitch said he would come to regret it,” Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) said of Reid. “And I suspect the Democrats will come to regret what happened today.”

Democrats say it is Republicans who smashed congressional norms on impeachment. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called the articles nakedly partisan and an abuse of what is supposed to be a solemn, judiciously used power.

“We felt very strongly that we had to set a precedent that impeachment should never be used to settle policy disagreements,” he said in a press conference held after the trial adjourned.

But Democrats acknowledged there could be repercussions for the dismissal. President Pro Tempore Patty Murray (D-WA), answering a parliamentary inquiry from Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) on the Senate floor, conceded that precedents set that day would apply to future trials.

In this image from video from Senate Television, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) listens as she presides over the Senate acting as a court of impeachment, during the impeachment trial of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on the Senate floor at the U.S. Capitol, Wednesday, April 17, 2024, in Washington. (Senate Television via AP)

“I understand the case they are making. I don’t deny this is a different Senate process,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT). “But the risk of normalizing what the House did is bigger than the risk of establishing a new precedent in the Senate.”

Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) was careful not to call the warning from Republicans one of “retribution,” and he reasoned that Democrats could just as easily forgo a trial now that the door has been opened to it.

But the implications for future impeachments are indisputable. Forty-five Republicans voted for an unsuccessful measure to deem the second trial of then-President Donald Trump unconstitutional in 2021. GOP senators conceivably do so for a future president if they control the chamber.

The party stands a good chance of that next year given the Senate map and has already begun to use the impeachment votes to tie swing state Democrats to the border crisis.

“Senate Democrats just showed voters they will do nothing to hold Joe Biden and DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas accountable for the disastrous border policies that caused this crisis,” Tate Mitchell, spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said in a statement.

Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), among the most vulnerable Democrats, appears to understand the political peril of his vote. He remained publicly undecided until the moment he cast it and spent his statement explaining that vote calling on the Biden administration to do more to address the influx of immigrants.

The influence of election-year politics could be felt throughout the proceedings on Wednesday. In a moment of levity, Sen. Roger Marshall (R-KS) moved to adjourn the impeachment trial until Nov. 6, the day after the election.


Those and other procedural motions, used to obstruct the proceedings, were not able to prevent the inevitable outcome. Schumer successfully shielded Mayorkas from more politically costly votes on his guilt or innocence.

But they could foreshadow future obstacles for the majority leader. Senate conservatives, led by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), have begun to throw up legislative roadblocks to unrelated business on the Senate floor and have signaled they could keep doing so as a form of protest even after the trial concluded.

" Conservative News Daily does not always share or support the views and opinions expressed here; they are just those of the writer."

One Comment

  1. Get real, none of them care about the American people. They don’t care about our country, they’re all treasonous and should pay for what they’ve let happen on their watch. They will face the Lord one day and he will require an answer!

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