Mayorkas Impeached by House

Now that the House has impeached Mayorkas, the two charges go to the Senate, which has the authority to convict and remove Mayorkas from office after a trial but won't.


by By Mark Tapscott and Joseph Lord, The Epoch Times, February 14, 2024
 

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas on Feb. 13 became only the second presidential cabinet member ever to be impeached in the 236-year history of the United States government.

Mr. Mayorkas, who was appointed by President Joe Biden and confirmed by the Democratic Senate in 2021, was impeached on two counts relating to his handling of the border crisis by a vote of 214–213, with all but three Republicans voting in favor and all Democrats opposing the action. The chamber burst into applause after the result was announced.

Former Secretary of War George Belknap resigned in 1876 after the House passed five counts of impeachment against him. The Senate failed to convict Belknap, who was appointed by President Ulysses S. Grant.

The House action came exactly a week after the lower chamber of Congress failed to impeach the embattled Homeland Security secretary on a 215–215 vote. That tally was updated to 214–216 when Rep. Blake Moore (R-Utah) changed his vote to a “no” in a parliamentary move to enable the House to reconsider the impeachment resolution.

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.), who was absent from the vote last week due to being treated for blood cancer, cast the deciding vote on Feb. 13.

Three Republicans who opposed the impeachment resolution last week voted the same the second time around. The trio includes Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado, Rep. Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin, and Rep. Tom McLintock of California.

President Joe Biden also decried the impeachment, calling it a “blatant act of unconstitutional partisanship” on the part of House Republicans, whom he accused of “playing politics with the border.”

He defended Mr. Mayorkas and his administration’s handling of the border crisis and chastised House Republicans for recently rejecting a Senate foreign aid package that included border security measures.

“Congress needs to act to give me, Secretary Mayorkas, and my administration the tools and resources needed to address the situation at the border,” the president said in a statement.

Read: Speaker Johnson Explains the 64 Biden Policies that Created the Border Crisis and that Biden needs no additional authority to close the border

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) defended the Republican effort, saying Mr. Mayorkas “deserves to be impeached.”

“From his first day in office, Secretary Mayorkas has willfully and consistently refused to comply with federal immigration laws, fueling the worst border catastrophe in American history. He has undermined public trust through multiple false statements to Congress, obstructed lawful oversight of the Department of Homeland Security, and violated his oath of office,” Mr. Johnson said in a statement.

Rep. Mark Green (R-Tenn.), who led the impeachment effort as chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, applauded the historic vote, calling it a “decisive action to defend our constitutional order and hold accountable a public official who violated his oath of office.”

“The House Committee on Homeland Security’s investigation and subsequent impeachment proceedings demonstrated beyond any doubt that Secretary Mayorkas has willfully and systemically refused to comply with the laws of the United States, and breached the public trust. As a result, our country has suffered from an unprecedented border crisis that has turned every state into a border state, causing untold suffering in communities across our country,” Mr. Green said in a statement.

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Other House Republicans celebrated the impeachment.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), a staunch supporter of the effort, called it “a historic day.”

“I’m very thankful to our Republican conference for finally working together and standing with the American people to send the message to the Biden administration that it’s our border that matters, not other country’s borders, our border matters,” she told reporters after the vote.

“I think that the American people [have] been asking for accountability. You can’t argue with the failures of Mayorkas,” Rep. Cory Mills (R-Fla.) told reporters before citing statistics on the border crisis, including more than 8 million illegal crossings since President Biden took office.

Rep. Troy Nehls (R-Texas), speaking to The Epoch Times, called the impeachment “a beautiful thing and long overdue.”
 

Impeachment Articles


The 20-page impeachment resolution contained two articles with multiple examples of laws Mr. Mayorkas is alleged to have ignored or refused to enforce and illustrations of his blocking congressional oversight, including not producing requested copies of documents.

Article I of the measure accuses Mr. Mayorkas of a “willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law” and claims that “in large part because of his unlawful conduct, millions of aliens have illegally entered the United States on an annual basis with many unlawfully remaining in the United States.”

“His refusal to obey the law is not only an offense against the separation of powers in the Constitution of the United States, it also threatens our national security and has had a dire impact on communities across the country,” it reads.

Article II accuses Mr. Mayorkas of breaching the public trust by having “knowingly made false statements, and knowingly obstructed lawful oversight of the Department of Homeland Security, principally to obfuscate the results of his willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law.”

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With House passage of the impeachment resolution, the issue now goes to the Senate, which will convene as a trial to hear presentations by 11 House managers appointed by the House speaker and defenses by attorneys representing Mr. Mayorkas. Given that a two-thirds majority is needed to convict, the secretary will almost assuredly be acquitted by the Democratic-controlled Senate.

The House managers, all Republicans, will include Mr. Green, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Mike McCaul of Texas, Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, Rep. Clay Higgins of Louisiana, Rep. Ben Cline of Virginia, Rep. Michael Guest of Mississippi, Rep. Andrew Garbarino of New York, Rep. August Pfluger of Texas, Rep. Harriet Hageman of Wyoming, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, and Rep. Laurel Lee of Florida.
 

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