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Senate Democrats may cut Mayorkas impeachment trial short

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A growing number of Senate Democrats said they support dismissing the upcoming impeachment trial for Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas — a move that would effectively end the trial within minutes.

A motion to dismiss the Mayorkas impeachment articles would only take a simple majority to pass in the Senate, where Democrats hold 51 seats. Even some Democratic centrists are already for dismissing the trial altogether, voiding months of work over in the Republican-controlled House.

“Absolutely,” retiring Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said on whether he’d support a motion to dismiss. “Immediately that should be done. It’s ridiculous.”

Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), who is one of Republicans’ top targets in November, also said he’d support a motion to dismiss, arguing there are better ways for the Senate to use its time.

“I think it’s much more important to keep the government open,” Tester said. “Much more important to secure the southern border.”

The results of the trial — if it goes forward — are considered a foregone conclusion. Senate Democrats have dubbed the Mayorkas impeachment as a sham and are eager to get it off their plates as quickly as possible. The House narrowly passed the impeachment articles, which accused Mayorkas of breach of public trust in his handling of the border and refusing to comply with the law.

“I’d be glad to see a motion to dismiss,” said Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). “The Mayorkas impeachment is nothing but political theater from a Republican Party that can’t do any real legislative work.”

Several Senate Republicans have also cast doubt on the merits of impeaching Mayorkas, though conservatives have pushed for a full trial and have made it clear they’ll blast Democrats for skipping through it.

Despite Democrats’ confidence that they have the votes to dismiss the trial, they’re still warily watching the House. Republican impeachment managers have not yet sent over their impeachment articles, which would kick start the trial in the Senate. It’s unlikely the articles are sent over this week amid a mess of government funding negotiations, according to a source familiar.

Once the House sends over its impeachment articles, a trial could bog down Senate proceedings until leaders move to dismiss it or shunt it to a committee.

It’s not yet clear if Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer would support a motion to dismiss or other measures that could stump the length of the Senate trial. If a trial does occur, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) is slated to preside.

“I certainly would support a motion to dismiss because it’s just very, very political,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), the No. 3 Senate Democrat. “And we’ve got so many important things coming up.”

Burgess Everett contributed to this report.