Senate Democrats vote to end Mayorkas’ impeachment without trial, enraging Republicans

Senate Democrats voted to end impeachment proceedings against director of homeland security, Alejandro Mayorkas, on Wednesday without trial in a move that enraged their Republican colleagues.

The Senate voted mostly on party lines to dismiss two articles of impeachment against Mayorkas and to adjourn the trial. Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, who broke party lines to support the second impeachment of Donald Trump, voted “present” during the vote to table the first article while supporting the second article of impeachment.

Mitt Romney, another Republican who supported both impeachments of Donald Trump voted against shutting down the trial in both instances.

Many members of the GOP caucus voiced frustration over Democrats killing the impeachment process without a public debate period.

Democrats declined to bring a full trial against Joe Biden’s Cabinet official and cited Republicans’ inability to name specific “high crimes or misdemeanors”, the general standard for impeachment.

The two articles submitted by the House included a supposed breach of the “public trust” and an assertion that he has refused to adequately enforce immigration laws at the US border.

Republicans delivered the articles to the Senate on Tuesday in a procession led by House impeachment managers including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.

The border remains a politically turbulent issue and Democrats are looking at the possibility of taking executive action to address illegal crossings after a bipartisan framework, negotiated in the Senate, was voted down by Republicans earlier this year.

House GOP members had sought to use action on border security as a bargaining chip for their votes on Ukraine and Israel aid but that demand evaporated following the defeat of the bipartisan Senate framework. The lower chamber is set to hold votes on Ukraine and Israel assistance on Friday.

Their colleagues in the Senate blasted the proceedings as they occurred and in floor speeches after the trial was adjourned.

“This has never happened before,” said a visibly incensed Mike Lee of Utah, who called the adjournment “counter-constitutional”.

Mr Mayorkas remains a target of vitriol for Republicans and during a budget hearing on Tuesday he was lectured by Ms Greene over the death of Laken Riley, a 22-year-old nursing student killed in Georgia, whom she suggested he should have deported. Ms Riley’s suspected killer is alleged to have crossed the border illegally.

This is a breaking news story. More follows…

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