Senate Dismisses Impeachment Charges Against Mayorkas Without a Trial

The Senate on Wednesday dismissed the impeachment case against Alejandro N. Mayorkas, the homeland security secretary, voting along party lines before his trial got underway to sweep aside two charges accusing him of failing to enforce immigration laws and breaching the public trust.

By a vote of 51 to 48, with one senator voting “present,” the Senate ruled that the first charge was unconstitutional because it failed to meet the constitutional bar of a high crime or misdemeanor. Republicans united in opposition except for Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, the lone “present” vote, while Democrats were unanimous in favor.

Ms. Murkowski joined her party in voting against dismissal of the second count on the same grounds; it fell along party lines on a 51-to-49 vote.

Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the majority leader, moved to dismiss each charge, arguing that a cabinet member cannot be impeached and removed merely for carrying out the policies of the administration he serves.

“To validate this gross abuse by the House would be a grave mistake and could set a dangerous precedent for the future,” Mr. Schumer said.

It took only about three hours for the Senate to dispense with the matter.

Republicans, for their part, warned that the dangerous precedent was the one that Democrats set by moving to skip an impeachment trial altogether, which they argued was a shirking of the Senate’s constitutional duty. They tried several times to delay the dismissal, failing on a series of party-line votes.

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