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Durbin: Senate Must Uphold the Constitution, Respect the Framers’ Intentions, and Quickly Dispose of Unjustified Articles of Impeachment Against Secretary Mayorkas

WASHINGTON – In a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today spoke about the partisan charade House Republicans have made of the impeachment process.  During his speech, Durbin called the two impeachment articles filed against U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, “nothing more than an attempt to politicize this solemn constitutional tool to distract from the very real fact that the House Republicans are struggling to govern.”

Durbin continued, “The Senate only has the power to convict, remove, and disqualify officers whose conduct meets the constitutional standard for impeachment.  And listen to this standard very closely as spelled out in the Constitution, ‘treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.’ Neither article that we’ve received from the House of Representatives contains any evidence that Secretary Mayorkas has been guilty of any of those specific elements in the Constitution or that he has failed in the exercise of his duties.  Instead, the articles of impeachment sent to us by the House of Representatives lay out policy disputes through a regurgitation of Republican talking points on immigration. It is simply not a constitutional crime worthy of impeachment for the current President and Secretary of Homeland Security to implement immigration policies that are entirely within the limits of the law and the discretion of the Executive Branch.”

Durbin went on to call out congressional Republicans for blocking the bipartisan border security bill that was negotiated in the Senate and with the Biden Administration.

“Despite repeatedly referring to the border as a ‘crisis,’ congressional Republicans’ opposition was based purely on Donald Trump’s insistence that Congress not pass immigration legislation.  He wants to use it as a campaign issue in November.  He doesn’t want a solution, a bipartisan solution that perhaps Joe Biden would be given some credit for.  So, he stopped the whole process and stopped the bipartisanship,” said Durbin.  “This partisan hackery is not lost on me or the American people.  Instead of doing their job and working to find legislative solutions to complex, challenging problems, too many Republicans have decided that impeachment of a cabinet official for actually doing his job is a better exercise of time.”

Durbin concluded, “Since 1986, the Senate has considered motions to dismiss brought by either the impeached officer or a Senator in six impeachments and has twice dismissed impeachment articles in the past.  So, to say this has never been done is just not true.  We should follow that example.  I urge my colleagues to uphold the Constitution and the intentions of the Framers and quickly dispose of these unjustifiable articles of impeachment.”

Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here for TV Stations.