GOP Lawmaker Calls On Harris To Preside Over Impeachment Trial

One role that the vice president has is serving as the president of the Senate. It’s something that Kamala Harris is very familiar with, as she had to cast the tie-breaking vote in Congress’ upper chamber many times during the last Congress.

But, there’s another part of that role that she’s not going to fulfill — one that a Republican congressman believes she should.

Following the House’s impeachment of Alejandro Mayorkas, the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer issued a statement that said Harris wouldn’t be presiding over the trial in the Senate — something that vice presidents normally do.

Instead, it will be Patty Murray, the president pro tempore of the Senate, who will be fulfilling that role.

On Tuesday, Republican Senator Rick Scott of Florida sent a letter to Harris, imploring her to fulfill these duties. As he wrote:

“As Vice President, the Constitution directs that you also serve as the presiding officer of the U.S. Senate. Although Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has publicly stated he intends for President Pro Tempore Patty Murray to preside over the upcoming impeachment trial of Secretary Mayorkas, I write to encourage and invite you to fulfill your constitutional duty to serve as the presiding officer of Secretary Mayorkas’ impeachment trial.”

He further pointed out that it would be quite pertinent for Harris to preside over the trial, given that President Joe Biden appointed his vice president as the “border czar” near the start of his term in the White House.

Scott wrote:

“In accepting that appointment, you acknowledged a need ‘to deal with the root causes’ of the flows of illegal immigration across our southern border. As such, you should be keenly interested in learning whether a high-ranking member of your administration is one of those ‘root causes’ through his willful and persistent refusal to enforce our country’s immigration laws, frustrating the very core function of your role as President Biden’s ‘border czar.’”

The Republican-led House impeached Mayorkas with a very slim 214-213 vote next week. In the Senate, Republicans seem to be divided on the issue.

It’s expected that Schumer and the Democrats who lead the majority in the Senate could look to table the articles of impeachment, avoiding a full-length impeachment trial and quickly disposing of it altogether so Mayorkas can be exonerated.

The House charged Mayorkas with two articles of impeachment — breach of public trust regarding the state of the southern border, and willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law regarding immigration and border security.”

Speaker Mike Johnson assigned 11 impeachment managers for the case, which will be heard in the Senate. It’s expected that the House will deliver those charges by February 28.

It will then be up to the Senate to schedule the impeachment trial, and hold it in their chamber. In order for Mayorkas to be removed from his post, it would require two-thirds of Senate members to vote in favor of doing so — which is highly unlikely to happen.