GOP senators are demanding a full investigation into Mayorkas impeachment

Senators are expected to debate, largely along party lines, on Wednesday whether to pursue a full-scale investigation into Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorgas over immigration policy and his handling of the southern border.

House GOP leaders issued two articles of impeachment against Mayorkas on Tuesday, and the next step in the proceedings is for senators to be impaneled as jurors, who will sit as an impeachment court Wednesday at 1 p.m. EDT.

But how things go from there after the senators are sworn in is somewhat of an open question.

Democrats control the Senate, and if they stick together, they could quickly vote to dismiss — or table — the articles without much of a hearing. It needs 51 votes.

Democratic leaders have kept their cards close to the suit over their handling of the articles, but there is little desire among Senate Democrats to hold a full-scale impeachment inquiry.

Many Democrats believe the articles of impeachment accusing Mayorkas of “willful and systematic refusal to comply with the law” and “violation of the public trust” are baseless and politicized.

“Impeachment should never be used to resolve a policy disagreement,” Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor Tuesday. “I'll say it again: impeachment should never be used to resolve a policy conflict. Talk about a bad precedent. It would set a bad precedent for Congress. Every time there's a policy agreement in the House, they send it here and decide. It's ridiculous that the Senate has to impeach.

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Schumer has promised to moderate the articles “as quickly as possible,” but hasn't said exactly what that will look like.

He faces a fight from Senate Republicans, many of whom are angry at the suggestion that there won't be a full investigation.

During a news conference on Tuesday, Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., shared the stage with House impeachment managers.

“What Senator Schumer is going to do tomorrow — it's bad, it's fraudulent and it's an affront to the Senate. It's an affront to every American citizen who believes in the rule of law,” he said.

Beyond complaining, if all Democrats stick together, there is little Republicans can do to get their demands met.

But it's not clear that they will.

Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., faces a tough re-election fight this fall in increasingly red Montana. He has yet to say whether or not he will support a motion to dismiss, and has repeatedly told reporters he will wait to make a decision until he reads the articles.

On Tuesday, Senate impeachment manager Rep. As the essays were read aloud by Mark Green, Tester, who had been sitting in the room earlier, left his seat and went to the dressing room.

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“Jon Tester was nowhere to be found because it was so scary to hear the managers read the facts of people dying because of the policies he supported,” Cruz said.

It is not clear what the experimenter will ultimately conclude. But if he sticks with his party, there is little Republicans can do to force the investigation to continue. That doesn't mean they'll make things easy.

If Democrats want to quickly file an investigation, Republicans are expected to offer several procedural points.

Sen. Thom Tillis, RN.C., told reporters after a closed luncheon Tuesday that behind-the-scenes discussions are underway about an agreement that would allow hours of debate on whether a motion requires a pretrial hearing. Impeachment is ultimately voted on.

“It gives some of us an opportunity to make our case for a potential opportunity that we're going to consider, for those of us who want to have a discussion or debate,” Tillis said.

Such a deal would require the approval of all senators, and it is unclear whether that would happen.

Senators may try to send the investigation to a committee, as they are allowed to do when an incumbent is impeached against someone who is not the president.

One of those demanding an investigation, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, suggested it might be an “acceptable” decision.

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he strongly opposes Democratic efforts to repeal the impeachment effort, saying it is the chamber's sacred duty to take the matter seriously.

“For the 19th time in our history that the Senate will be called upon to impeach a senior official of our government, this is a responsibility that must be taken seriously.

“I intend to give these allegations my full and undivided attention. Of course, senators should have the opportunity to actually hold a hearing. This is what history and precedent dictates. Never before has the Senate agreed to a motion to table articles of impeachment,” McConnell said.

“I will strongly oppose any attempt to introduce articles of impeachment and refrain from looking the Biden administration's border crisis squarely in the face,” he added.

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