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Alejandro Mayorkas

Spending fight may delay Mayorkas Senate trial

Despite a looming government shutdown, the GOP investigations into the Biden administration are moving forward on several fronts.

But first, some news: The House is unlikely to present its articles to impeach DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to the Senate until after the government funding crisis is resolved, according to three sources familiar with the situation.

When the Mayorkas impeachment articles are presented, the Senate will convene the following day as a court of impeachment and senators will be sworn in as jurors. At that point, Democrats can offer a motion to table — or otherwise dismiss — the impeachment articles. They could also move to create a trial committee and refer the articles there.

It’s important to remember that Democrats can essentially dictate this entire process as long as they stick together. All of the aforementioned votes would be at a simple-majority threshold, so Democrats can bypass a trial entirely.

And there’s reason to believe that this is what could ultimately happen. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), for example, has dismissed the House’s impeachment effort, as have other moderates and vulnerable red-state Democrats.

House Republicans to grill Hunter Biden: President Joe Biden’s son Hunter will testify behind closed doors on Wednesday. The impeachment inquiry into the president has centered around allegations that Biden acted improperly while in office to benefit his family member’s overseas business deals.

To date, the inquiry hasn’t uncovered any conclusive evidence of impeachable offenses. And House Republicans only have a two-seat majority, which makes it even more difficult for GOP leaders.

Last week, the much-hyped transcribed interview of Biden’s brother, James Biden, fell flat. James Biden denied that his brother had any involvement in his financial deals.

Hunter Biden is expected to also forcefully reject GOP claims that his father played a role in his business ventures. Previous witnesses have testified that Hunter Biden would call his father and place Joe Biden on speakerphone while meeting with his partners. But Joe Biden never directly discussed business, according to former Hunter Biden associate Devon Archer.

Another factor to consider is that Hunter Biden is under federal indictment for allegedly falsifying gun purchase forms and avoiding taxes. As such, the president’s son may refuse to answer some questions from congressional investigators.

The Smirnov spin continues: The Biden impeachment inquiry suffered an embarrassing blow earlier this month when an FBI informant was indicted for allegedly lying about a Biden bribery scandal. Weeks after Alexander Smirnov’s arrest, top Republicans are continuing to face questions over how the revelation impacts the impeachment inquiry.

House Republicans are pivoting to attacking the FBI for retaining an informant who is accused of fabricating key claims. But the underlying facts are harmful for the GOP inquiry.

Smirnov provided fodder for the theory that Biden pressured Ukraine to fire a prosecutor who was supposedly too tough on a company that Hunter Biden served on the board of. This was a central claim of the investigation and is now allegedly completely made up.

— Max Cohen and Andrew Desiderio

Presented by AARP

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We’ve made it our business to know what matters to people 50 and over—like we know that protecting Social Security and supporting family caregivers are among their top priorities. Learn more from our polling in Pennsylvania.

Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. Political ads courtesy of AdImpact.