Alejandro Mayorkas
Alejandro Mayorkas AFP

Senate Democrats are set to seek the dismissal of the impeachment charges against Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas once they reach the chamber on Wednesday, Axios reported.

The outlet added that Democrats argue the process is purely political, and that the cabinet member has not committed any high crime or misdemeanor that justifies it. Even some Republicans could avoid the full trial, with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell insinuating this after the House voted on the articles.

Mayorkas has been formally accused of mishandling efforts to enforce immigration laws, especially when it comes to the implementation of a series of family reunification parole programs, which allowed some foreign nationals to wait in the U.S. for immigration visas.

About a quarter of all Republican senators have sent Minority Leader Mitch McConnell a letter to force a full trial, saying that dismissing the charges without that process would be "an action rarely contemplated and never taken by the U.S. Senate."

However, if Democrats can muster a simple majority (that is 51 votes) they can dismiss the trial outright or move to table the two articles (of impeachment) ending the House's effort. To get to that number, all Democrats and the chamber's three independents would have to vote for the motion. They could also get Republicans to vote for it, but it's unclear whether they would join Democrats in that vote.

Chuck Schumer
U.S. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer on Capitol Hill. Reuters

Asked if Republicans would present a unified front, Senate Whip John Thune seemed to hint that wouldn't be the case, saying he thinks "the large majority, for sure, will be very unified."

All indicators point at an outright dismissal, but even if Democrats can't do this, they can also "hold a vote to create a trial committee that would investigate the charges." Precedents show that party leaders can recommend six senators and a chairperson to run that committee, which would then craft a final report and send it to the senate.

A trial is the last potential path the impeachment could take. In that case senators would be have to go through its extensive duration while the House impeachment managers and lawyers representing Mayorkas make their cases."

The House impeachment managers are: Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green, Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, Reps. Andy Biggs, Ben Cline, Andrew Garbarino, Michael Guest, Harriet Hageman, Clay Higgins, Laurel Lee, August Pfluger and Marjorie Taylor Greene.

The first article of impeachment against the Secretary claims he displayed a "willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law," and the second that he breached public trust by having "knowingly made false statements, and knowingly obstructed lawful oversight of the Department of Homeland Security."

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