Mayorkas impeachment case sent to Senate

  • 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 are expected to be sworn in as jurors, but move quickly to dismiss the trial

After a lengthy delay, House Republicans sent their case Tuesday against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to the Senate with the ceremonial procession across the Capitol.

Republican impeachment managers from the House of Representatives proceed through Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol while transferring articles of impeachment against Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas April 16, 2024 in Washington, DC.

This will be the third time in five years that senators are sworn in as jurors in the court of impeachment.  

What happens next?

With any case, after the House successfully votes to impeach, the next step is for the Senate to decide if it will try the case. 

Under procedural rules, senators are required to convene as jurors the day after the articles of impeachment are transmitted for a trial, which would be Wednesday in Mayorkas’ case. 

However, Democrats hold the Senate majority appear to have the votes to immediately dismiss a trial, though Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., hasn’t yet said what he plans to do.

The Senate could also propose a motion to table the trial, or essentially push it aside.

Expect delays and political moves

Riley Beggin, the Congress and campaigns reporter at USA Today, told LiveNOW from FOX that even though the overwhelming expectation of this is for the trial to get dismissed, it could still be a very drawn out process. 

"The conservative senators who acknowledged they are probably not going to be successful in forcing a trial are going to try to make it as painful as possible for Democrats," Beggin said.

"In exchange for speeding up the process, because sometimes it can take days to move one thing through the Senate, they are going to ask for votes on some pretty politically painful points, and that's something that we're going to have to watch – it will be playing out behind closed doors – but it’s something that could become a political firestorm in the next few weeks."

Why was Mayorkas impeached?

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 charges that Mayorkas has "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 say the charges against Mayorkas amount 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.