Apr 9, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Senate GOP tries to stop Democrats from axing Mayorkas impeachment trial

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas speaks during the third annual Axios What's Next Summit

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Senate Republicans are launching a last-minute attack against Democrats' plans to quickly dismiss impeachment articles against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Senators referred to the dismissal plans as "nuking impeachment" during a closed-door lunch on Tuesday, according to a source familiar with what was said. Some discussed their last-ditch pressure campaign to force a trial.

Driving the news: Several Republican senators have been personally lobbying Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) to delay the transfer of impeachment articles until Monday, to buy them more time to try to block an effort to dismiss, according to three sources familiar.

  • "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," Taylor Haulsee, a spokesperson for Speaker Johnson, told Axios in a statement.
  • "There is no reason whatsoever for the Senate to abdicate its responsibility to hold an impeachment trial," Haulsee said.
  • Republicans have already used Senate rules to block committees from meeting Tuesday afternoon out of protest, a senior Senate GOP aide told Axios.

Between the lines: While some Republicans are furious at Democrats for not taking the time to consider the articles being sent from the House, others may join Democrats in voting to dismiss them.

  • Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) told Axios on Tuesday that he doesn't "think the constitutional standard of high crime and misdemeanor has been met" in the Mayorkas impeachment articles.
  • But "when I would express that is uncertain," he added, saying he wants to see what the process ends up being.

The other side: Republicans see Sen. Jon Tester's (D-Mont.) recent hesitancy to fully commit to voting to dismiss the articles of impeachment as signs of Democrats feeling the pressure.

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