A House panel led by Republicans endorsed two articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Wednesday. The vote, split along party lines with 18-15, accuses Mayorkas of “willfully and systematically” violating federal immigration laws and betraying the public trust. The House Homeland Security Committee contends that Mayorkas neglected to detain border-crossing migrants before determining their eligibility for asylum.

A House committee voted to propose impeachment charges against Mayorkas. The recommendation received unanimous support from Republicans and unanimous opposition from Democrats. The full House may vote on this matter as soon as next week. As U.S. lawmakers inch closer to the verdict, Mayorkas is set to create history by becoming the first cabinet secretary to face impeachment since 1876.

So what happened in 1876? William Belknap, the secretary of war under President Ulysses S. Grant, was impeached for his involvement in the trader post scandal.

Who was William Belknap and what happened at his impeachment trial in 1876?

William Belknap was impeached on March 2, 1876. Known for lavish parties and an opulent lifestyle, Belknap’s questionable financial dealings came under scrutiny. Evidence revealed his involvement in a scheme dating back to 1870, where his wife aided a corrupt associate in securing a military trading post appointment in exchange for kickbacks.

As the House of Representatives uncovered the corruption trail in 1876, Belknap resigned just minutes before an impeachment vote. However, the House proceeded unanimously to send five articles of impeachment to the Senate, charging Belknap with “criminally disregarding his duty as Secretary of War and basely prostituting his high office to his lust for private gain,” according to the U.S. Senate.

The Senate convened its trial in early April with over 40 witnesses as House managers argued that Belknap should not be allowed to escape justice simply by resigning his office. Despite a majority vote against Belknap on all charges, he was acquitted as the Senate fell short of the required two-thirds majority. Belknap died suddenly from a massive heart attack in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, October 12, 1890.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ marathon hearing

On Tuesday, the Republican-dominated House Committee on Homeland Security convened to “mark up” articles of impeachment against Mayorkas, a crucial procedural step before a bill progresses to the wider House of Representatives floor. The marathon hearing, lasting more than 15 hours, witnessed various procedural attempts by Democrats to thwart the impeachment effort, countered by Republicans asserting that their year-long investigation had unearthed ample evidence supporting the claim that Mayorkas violated his oath of office.

Committee Chairman Mark Green, R-Tennessee, accused Mayorkas of not fulfilling his oath “to well and faithfully discharge the duties” of his office, alleging a failure to adequately secure the US-Mexico border. Green claimed that Mayorkas “has willfully and systematically refused to comply with the laws passed by Congress, and breached the trust of Congress and the American people.” According to Green, the consequences have been catastrophic, jeopardizing the lives and livelihoods of all Americans.

If approved in the closely divided House, Mayorkas would become the second Cabinet official impeached in US history and the first since Secretary of War William Belknap in 1876.