House Republicans are Ready to Impeach Mayorkas; Vote Will be Close

By Hamodia Staff

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas attends a House Committee on Homeland Security hearing on worldwide threats to the United States, Nov. 15, 2023, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

The U.S. House rolled through debate Tuesday toward impeaching Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over border security, in a move that has drawn concerns from constitutional scholars and rebuke from Democrats.

Republicans in the House are arguing in two articles of impeachment against Mayorkas that he has “refused to comply” with immigration laws, resulting in the record surge of immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, and has “breached the public trust” by his actions and comments. The vote on the charges was expected to be tight along party lines. Democrats say the allegations untrue.

House Speaker Mike Johnson, who can lose only a few Republicans from his slim majority, said he personally spoke to the holdouts acknowledging the “heavy, heavy” vote as he sought their support.

“It’s an extreme measure,” said Johnson, R-La.. “But extreme times call for extreme measures.”

Not since 1876 has a Cabinet secretary faced impeachment charges and it’s the first time a sitting secretary is being impeached — 148 years ago, Secretary of War William Belknap resigned just before the vote.

The impeachment charges against Mayorkas come as border security is fast becoming a top political issue in the 2024 election, a particularly potent line of attack being leveled at President Joe Biden by Republicans, led by the party’s front-runner for the presidential nomination, Donald Trump.

Record numbers of people have been arriving at the southern border, many fleeing countries around the world, in what Mayorkas calls an era of global migration.

The House Democrats are uniting against the two articles of impeachment against Mayorkas, calling the proceedings a sham designed to please Trump, charges that do not rise to the Constitution’s bar of treason, bribery or “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

“A bunch of garbage,” said Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass. He called Mayorkas “a good man, a decent man,” who is simply trying to do his job.

Even if Republicans are able to impeach Mayorkas, he is not expected to be convicted in a Senate trial where Republican senators have been cool to the effort. The Senate could simply refer the matter to a committee for its own investigation, delaying immediate action.

The impeachment of Mayorkas landed quickly onto the House agenda after Republican efforts to impeach Biden over the business dealings of his son, Hunter Biden, hit a lull, and the investigation into the Biden family drags.

The Committee on Homeland Security under Chairman Mark Green, R-Tenn., had been investigating the secretary for much of the past year, including probing the flow of deadly fentanyl into the U.S. But a resolution from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., a Trump ally, pushed it to the fore. The panel swiftly held a pair of hearings in January before announcing the two articles of impeachment against Mayorkas.

Unlike other moments in impeachment history, the arguments played out to an almost empty chamber, without the fervor or solemnity of past proceedings.

Greene, who was named to be one of the impeachment managers for the Senate trial, rose to blame Mayorkas for what she described as the “invasion” of migrants coming to the U.S.

Republican Rep. Eli Crane if Arizona said Mayorkas had committed a “dereliction of duty.”

A former federal prosecutor, the secretary never testified on his own behalf, but submitted a rare letter to the panel defending his work.

Experts have argued that Mayorkas has simply been snared in a policy dispute with Republicans who disapprove of the Biden administration’s approach to the border situation.

Constitutional law expert Jonathan Turley said impeachment is not to be used for being “a bad Cabinet member.” Lawyer Alan Dershowitz wrote, “Whatever else Mayorkas may or may not have done, he has not committed bribery, treason, or high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Scholars point out that the Constitution’s framers initially considered “maladministration” as an impeachable offense, but dropped it over concern of giving the legislative branch too much sway over the executive and disrupting the balance of power.

With reporting from wire services.

To Read The Full Story

Are you already a subscriber?
Click to log in!