ND Senator Cramer blasts Senate Democrats for killing Mayorkas impeachment

Courtesy: Senator Kevin Cramer
Courtesy: Senator Kevin Cramer

(Washington, D.C.) -- U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer says a lot more happened than you might realize, when the Senate dismissed two articles of impeachment last week against U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

The two articles were first passed in the House of Representatives in February.  They charged Mayorkas with purposely ignoring federal immigration law and breaching public trust.

North Dakota Congressmen Kelly Armstrong was part of the party-line vote to impeach Mayorkas in the House.  It was the second vote taken in the chamber, and it passed 214-213.  At the time, Armstrong said, “Secretary Mayorkas has made a conscious choice to disregard federal law. For three years he has refused to secure the southern border. The House did our duty and impeached the worst cabinet secretary in our lifetime.”

But the Democrat-controlled Senate voted 51-49, on April 17, to kill the articles.  The articles were procedural and would not have resulted in an actual impeachment but would have allowed an impeachment trial to take place in the Senate.  All Democrats voted to dismiss and all 49 Republicans, including North Dakota members John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer, voted to proceed.  

The vote meant that the chamber found the impeachment articles unconstitutional because they did not meet the standard of high crimes and misdemeanors.  Republicans attempted a series of procedural votes and advancement measures, to keep the charges alive, but were unsuccessful.

Cramer, several days after seeing the impeachment articles quickly dismissed in the Senate, was still noticeably upset in an interview with The Farmer and KTGO Radio (Tioga).

“The Constitution obligates the Senate to proceed with a trial when there is an impeachment.  We’ve never NOT done that until this week when the Mayorkas one came over.  So herein lies my biggest problem with this place.  You and I may disagree whether the articles were adequate or if the evidence was inadequate, but what we shouldn’t disagree about is whether we have a constitutional obligation…to have an impeachment trial regardless of how we feel.”

Hoeven agreed, saying in a statement, “The Biden administration has the tools necessary to secure our border, but refuses to enforce the law. As the leader of the Department of Homeland Security, Secretary Mayorkas needs to be held responsible for the open border policies that are making our nation less safe and leading to the crisis at our border.  Now that the House has impeached Secretary Mayorkas and delivered the articles of impeachment to the Senate, we should fulfill our constitutional duty and hold an impeachment trial.”

Armstrong told The Farmer in March that the conversation about impeachment should also include President Joe Biden himself, but that the votes weren’t there because some Republicans thought it would make the party look bad in an election year.  

Cramer says it’s true that Republicans might be going after the wrong target.  

“I wasn’t a fan of doing it (the impeachment process) myself because I believe if we’re going to impeach anybody, we should be impeaching someone who doesn’t have a boss.  That’s why Presidents and Vice Presidents and judges are largely the only people who are ever impeached.  But in this case, regardless of how you feel about it, the House did impeach Mayorkas.  And by the way they had a really good 18-page articles of impeachment that explains exactly what he has done illegally, including lying under oath to the House of Representatives itself which is impeachable.”

Cramer did add that the Senate proceedings might have had a better shot with a different plan.

“They should have charged him with perjury, and they did not,” said Cramer, “and I don’t know why the House did not do that that but they didn’t.”

The impeachment battle in Washington D.C. could have far-reaching impact in states like Montana, where incumbent Democrat Senator Jon Tester faces a tough campaign battle.  Republican Senate candidate, and former Navy SEAL Tim Sheehy said, “Jon Tester has worked hand in glove with Joe Biden to aid the invasion taking place at our southern border.  At every turn, Tester has walked in lockstep with the left’s radical open border agenda, voting for taxpayer-funded flights for migrants, for sanctuary cities, and against the Laken Riley Act, to detain and deport criminal aliens.  Jon Tester and Senate Democrats killed an impeachment inquiry into Secretary Mayorkas for his willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law.”

Tester, meanwhile, defended his vote by suggesting the impeachment was a partisan game, while also urging both Mayorkas and Biden to use their executive branch authorities to help secure the border.

“They created a new precedent saying you don’t even have to vote on the articles,” Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri told reporters after the vote, and that is what Cramer says is the biggest takeaway of the whole process.

“We are obligated under the constitution to do it.  Except now a new precedent has been sent.  And this is what bothers me, because what Democrats did this week, unilaterally but unanimously, 51 to 49, with multiple votes and multiple measures, is have every Democrat voting together.”

And to those who say that Republicans would have done the same thing if one of their own came under fire, Cramer says that dog won’t hunt. 

“Remember when Nancy Pelosi was Speaker, they impeached Donald Trump twice and sent the impeachment over to us for a trial.  And in both cases Republicans controlled the Senate.  We never convicted Donald Trump, but we didn’t abdicate or dismiss our responsibility to at least hold the trial.  Well, from now on we can do that.  That’s the new standard.  That’s the deterioration of the institutions that are supposed to be guarding our rights and our freedoms in this country that Democrats just flushed down the toilet this week.”