Sen. Scott urges VP Harris to preside over Senate impeachment trial of Sec. Mayorkas

 February 21, 2024

House Republicans recently passed articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas, and now Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) is urging Vice President Kamala Harris to "fulfill your constitutional duty" and preside over the impeachment trial, Breitbart reported.

Scott's insistence came in the form of a letter to Harris that was deemed necessary due to reports that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) intended to dispense quickly with the impeachment matter and planned to appoint Senate Pro Tempore Patty Murray (D-WA), who would also serve as a juror, to preside over any impeachment proceedings.

The articles of impeachment against Sec. Mayorkas

In late January, the House passed along party lines two articles of impeachment against Sec. Mayorkas, the first of which covered his "willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law" by way of his unauthorized "catch and release" policies for illegal border crossers and unauthorized abuse of parole proceedings that have had "calamitous consequences" for individual states and localities and the nation as a whole.

Mayorkas was also impeached for his "breach of public trust" by way of having "knowingly made false statements" to Congress on multiple occasions and for having "knowingly obstructed lawful oversight" of the Department of Homeland Security through his refusal to "comply with multiple subpoenas" that "delayed or denied" lawful access of investigators to relevant documents and witnesses, not to mention his "willful refusal" to fulfill his statutory duties.

"Wherefore Alejandro N. Mayorkas, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national and border security, the safety of the American people, and to the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with his duties and the rule of law," the articles concluded. "Alejandro N. Mayorkas thus warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States."

Harris urged to preside over Mayorkas impeachment trial

In his letter to Vice President Harris, Sen. Scott wrote, "As Vice President, the Constitution directs that you also serve as the presiding officer of the U.S. Senate," and noted that while Sen. Schumer had revealed his plan to have Sen. Murry preside over the impeachment proceedings, "I write to encourage and invite you to fulfill your constitutional duty to serve as the presiding officer of Secretary Mayorkas’ impeachment trial."

"When President Biden appointed you as the 'border czar' in early 2021, he tasked you with 'stemming the migration to our southern border,'" he continued. "In accepting that appointment, you acknowledged a need 'to deal with the root causes' of the flows of illegal immigration across our southern border."

"As such, you should be keenly interested in learning whether a high-ranking member of your administration is one of those 'root causes' through his willful and persistent refusal to enforce our country’s immigration laws, frustrating the very core function of your role as President Biden’s 'border czar,'" the Florida senator stated.

"Our states and cities face an ongoing and widespread crisis due to the flood of illegal immigrants streaming across our southern and northern borders and moving freely within the interior of the homeland," Scott concluded. "As the President of the Senate, you are the appropriate constitutional presiding officer to oversee the impeachment trial of Secretary Mayorkas, and I encourage you to fulfill that role when the Senate reconvenes later this month."

McConnell urged to ensure impeachment trial actually takes place

Also on Monday, Sen. Scott signed on along with 12 other Senate Republicans to a letter to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) that urged him to ensure that an impeachment trial for Sec. Mayorkas actually occurred and wouldn't be swept aside or dispensed with procedurally by the Democratic majority.

That letter, authored by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), stated that "It is imperative that the Senate Republican conference prepare to fully engage our Constitutional duty and hold a trial" once the articles of impeachment had been formally transmitted from the House to the Senate.

"According to multiple briefings by your staff, Majority Leader Schumer and Senate Democrats intend to dispense with the articles of impeachment by simply tabling both individually," Lee wrote. "This is an action rarely contemplated and never taken by the U.S. Senate in the history of our Republic."

"It remains to be seen if the Senate rules will even allow us to brush aside our duty in this manner, but one thing is sure, if a similar strategy was contemplated by Senate Republicans when we were in the majority with a Republican occupying the White House, the opposition would be fierce and the volume from Democrats would be deafening," the Utah senator continued.

Lee added, "We call on you to join us in our efforts to jettison this approach by Democrats to shirk their Constitutional duty, ensure that the Senate conducts a proper trial, and that every Senator, Republican and Democrat, adjudicates this matter when the Senate returns."

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