Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Mayorkas Impeachment Dismissed

If you were expecting a full-blown Senate trial of the impeached Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas with lots of fireworks and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green (R-GA) leading the fight, sorry to disappoint you, but it didn't happen. The Senate quickly took a vote on the first article, which accuses Mayorkas of failing to enforce the nation's immigration laws. Every Democrat voted to dismiss it on the grounds that Mayorkas had not committed any high crimes or misdemeanors. Every Republican but one voted against dismissal of the first article. Who was the one Republican with the spine to effectively say, that no, Mayorkas didn't commit a crime? It was Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), who voted "present." Note that Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), who is retiring and has nothing to fear from Donald Trump, couldn't get up the nerve to at least vote "present," like Murkowski. Romney knows very well that policy disagreements are not crimes. He also knows that from now on, whenever the president's party does not control the House, meaningless impeachments will flow like water. Using the impeachment power to annoy your political rivals is not exactly what James Madison had in mind when he threw in that provision.

Shortly thereafter, there was a vote on the second article, breach of trust. This time Murkowski lost her mojo and voted with the Republicans, even though she knows very well that "breach of trust" is not a crime. The second vote was thus 51-49. That ended the trial.

Originally, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) offered the Republicans a deal in which there would be a small amount of debate, but only if all of them agreed to it. Sen. Eric Schmitt (R-MO) refused, so Schumer moved directly to the votes. Consequently, the impeachment managers never even got to make their case, on account of Schmitt.

A number of Republican senators made motions along the way. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) wanted to move the whole thing to a closed session. Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) wanted to adjourn the Senate until April 30. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) moved to table a point of order made by Schumer. They all failed.

Many of the senators appeared bored during the whole proceeding. Maybe they figured that since Donald Trump fell asleep several times during his trial, sleeping during a trial was now de rigueur. (V)

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