House Republicans have officially released articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
The House Homeland Security Committee, led by Rep. Mark Green (R-TN), is set to vote on this resolution on Tuesday. [Source]
This could potentially lead to a House floor vote as early as the week of February 5th. If passed, this will be the first time a Cabinet official has faced impeachment since Secretary of War William Belknap in 1876.
The articles, accusing Mayorkas of “breach of trust” and “willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law,” are the result of a monthslong investigation. This investigation, once overshadowed by Republican efforts to probe President Joe Biden, has now taken center stage.
“In the Committee’s impeachment hearings, members received testimony from top legal officials that detailed how Secretary Mayorkas has failed to uphold his oath of office, how his actions and decisions rise to the level of impeachable offenses, and how his misconduct is costing states across the country,” Rep. Green stated, underscoring the seriousness of the allegations.
The first article of impeachment accuses Mayorkas of not upholding immigration laws and endangering public safety by exceeding his authority. The second article focuses on allegations of making false statements to Congress and obstructing congressional oversight, notably in relation to the cessation of construction on the U.S.-Mexico border wall.
These accusations are not new; Republicans have long challenged Mayorkas over his statements regarding operational control of the border and his handling of the border situation. Mayorkas has defended his interpretation of operational control, a standard he argues no administration has met.
The timing of these impeachment articles coincides with a potential Senate vote on a bipartisan deal linking new border restrictions to funding for Ukraine, Taiwan, and Israel.
This deal, however, faces criticism from former President Donald Trump and warnings from Speaker Mike Johnson that it could be “dead on arrival” in the House. [Source]
Democrats and legal experts, along with some GOP colleagues, have expressed skepticism about the impeachment drive. “What is glaringly missing from these articles is any real charge or even a shred of evidence of high crimes or misdemeanors — the Constitutional standard for impeachment,” Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), the top Democrat on the panel, argued, challenging the validity of the Republican-led effort. [Source]
In response, the Department of Homeland Security issued a four-page memo, dismissing the committee vote as “just more of the same political games” and labeling the impeachment as a distraction from more pressing national security issues and necessary immigration law reforms.
While the GOP-controlled House may successfully pass the impeachment resolution, it faces an uphill battle in the Senate, where a Democratic majority makes a conviction highly unlikely.
Nevertheless, this move signifies the GOP’s efforts to hold current administration accountable for its handling of the U.S.-Mexico border.