Mike Lee calls for full impeachment trial of Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas

Apr 17, 2024, 6:31 AM

Sen. Mile Lee calls for impeachment of Mayorkas...

U.S. Sen. Mike Lee speaks to Senate Democrats at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Feb. 21. Lee is among a group of Senate Republicans calling for a full impeachment trial of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. (Laura Seitz, Deseret New

WASHINGTON — Utah Sen. Mike Lee on Tuesday called for a full Senate trial of impeached Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, while Utah’s other Republican senator, Mitt Romney, said there should be debate on the articles of impeachment before voting on how to proceed.

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives impeached Mayorkas in February, charging the Biden administration’s top border official with “willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law” and “breach of public trust” over his handling of the U.S.-Mexico border — where apprehensions surged late last year. Representatives delivered the two articles of impeachment to the Senate Tuesday, where Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is expected to try to dismiss or table the trial.

Schumer and other Democrats have defended Mayorkas and accused House Republicans of being motivated by politics and ideological differences over border policy.

“Every time there’s a policy disagreement in the House, they send it over here and tie the Senate in knots to do an impeachment trial? That’s absurd. That’s an abuse of the process. That is more chaos,” Schumer said.

Lee and other GOP senators blasted the proposal Tuesday, calling for a full trial of Mayorkas, saying it’s “not only expected but required under the Constitution that we should do this.”

“And what that means is we are sworn in; we’re going to be sworn in tomorrow as senators performing the equivalent of the judge-jury function where we’re both finders of fact and also imbued with the authority to decide questions of law relative to the impeachment trial,” he said during a press conference alongside Republican colleagues Tuesday afternoon. “What all that presupposes is that we will reach a finding of guilt or innocence, guilty, not guilty. We shouldn’t be sidestepping this.”

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Mike Lee calls for full impeachment trial of Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas