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Chairman Green on Democrat-Led Senate Refusing to Hold Mayorkas Impeachment Trial: Senate, Like Secretary Mayorkas, Has Failed Its Constitutional Duty

April 17, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Mark Green, MD (R-TN) released the following statement after the Senate voted against holding a trial in the impeachment of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas—effectively ending the impeachment process before hearing a single argument or reviewing a piece of evidence. This marks the first occasion in history in which the Senate has refused to conduct an impeachment trial against a public official.

The Senate had an obligation to conduct a full trial, hear the evidence, and render a verdict. However, just as Secretary Mayorkas has grievously failed in his constitutional duty, now so has the Senate. Instead of addressing the serious charges against Secretary Mayorkas, the upper chamber has chosen to neglect its responsibility. This is an unprecedented failure by the Senate to do its duty, which, for the first time in our history, has outright refused to conduct an impeachment trial when given the opportunity to do so. This is not only a tacit approval of Secretary Mayorkas’ assault on our constitutional order, but an insult to the millions of Americans who want to end this crisis and hold accountable those who intentionally created it. Sadly, the Senate has now failed on both fronts.

Read more from Chairman Green: Senate has a responsibility to conduct Mayorkas impeachment trial – and convict him

BACKGROUND: On Feb. 13, 2024, the House of Representatives voted to impeach Secretary Mayorkas for high crimes and misdemeanors—the first impeachment of a sitting Cabinet official in American history. This historic vote followed the House Committee on Homeland Security’s vote to advance the articles of impeachment on Jan. 31, 2024, after a nearly year-long investigation into the causes, costs, and consequences of the unprecedented crisis at America’s borders. Throughout the process, Secretary Mayorkas refused to cooperate with requests to appear before the Committee to provide testimony in defense of his refusal to comply with U.S. immigration laws and his breach of the public trust.

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson declared of the articles, “I commend the House Homeland Security Committee for conducting a thorough and exhaustive investigation into Secretary Mayorkas’ failed leadership of the department and his role in the ongoing border crisis.” Johnson previously stated on CBS’ “Face the Nation” in January 2024, “Our Homeland Security Committee has done its job. They have a constitutional responsibility, a legal responsibility, to investigate what is happening with the agency that they have oversight for. They’ve done that for a year, very methodically, carefully, in detail. And they’ve documented all that.” House Majority Leader Steve Scalise noted similarly, “The Homeland Security Committee has laid out tremendous evidence for impeachment. They’ve been building a strong case for months now. And the case is overwhelming.” And House Majority Whip Tom Emmer said, “Personally, I believe it’s appropriate. It’s been a year-long process, very thoughtful and detailed. You’ve got the head of Homeland Security who is charged legally with securing our southern border, and he’s not only failed to do that, he’s willfully disobeyed existing law…”

Throughout the five-phase investigation that culminated in these impeachment proceedings, the Committee published detailed reports of its findings, totaling nearly 400 pages, which are linked below:

These reports conclusively established that Secretary Mayorkas is chiefly responsible for the chaos and devastation that has unfolded at America’s borders over the past three years. His willful and systemic refusal to comply with the laws passed by Congress has incentivized unprecedented mass illegal immigration. He has breached the public trust by misleading Congress and the American people on numerous occasions about the consequences of his decisions and the operational realities on the border. As a result, the criminal cartels have been empowered, Americans and migrants alike are suffering in record numbers, and cities and states across the country are assuming massive financial costs.

As part of the investigative process, the Committee conducted 10 full and subcommittee hearings, gathering testimony from more than two dozen witnesses. The Committee, along with the House Oversight Committee, also conducted transcribed interviews of chief and deputy chief patrol agents responsible for the Border Patrol’s nine Southwest border sectors as part of this investigation. These senior agents gave compelling testimony about the many consequences of Secretary Mayorkas’ open borders: