House Republicans on Sunday unveiled two Articles of Impeachment against Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, citing him for refusing to enforce multiple immigration laws, creating new programs that specifically defy congressional intent, and lying to Congress about multiple aspects of the crisis on the U.S. border with Mexico.
The articles are due for markup on Tuesday before the House Homeland Security Committee, led by Rep. Mark Green (R-Tenn.).
The first article charges Mr. Mayorkas with “willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law,” while the second article accuses him of “breach of public trust.”
“Throughout his tenure as Secretary of Homeland Security, [he] has repeatedly violated laws enacted by Congress regarding immigration and border security,” the resolution’s first article states.
“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 continues.
In the second impeachment article, Mr. Mayorkas is accused of willfully violating his public trust by having “knowingly made false statements, and knowingly obstructed lawful oversight of the Department of Homeland Security (hereinafter referred to as ‘DHS’), principally to obfuscate the results of his willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law.
“[He] has engaged in this scheme or course of conduct through the following means: (1) [He] knowingly made false statements to Congress that the border is ‘secure,’ that the border is ‘no less secure than it was previously,’ that the border is ‘closed,’ and that DHS has ‘operational control’ of the border,” it states.
Mr. Green, who leads the Homeland Security Committee, said in a statement: “These articles lay out a clear, compelling, and irrefutable case for Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ impeachment. He has willfully and systemically refused to comply with immigration laws enacted by Congress. He has breached the public trust by knowingly making false statements to Congress and the American people, and obstructing congressional oversight of his department.
“These facts are beyond dispute, and the results of his lawless behavior have been disastrous for our country. Empowered and enriched cartels, mass fentanyl poisonings, surges of terror watchlist suspects, more criminal illegal aliens causing harm in our communities, and traumatized and exploited migrants will be Secretary Mayorkas’ open-borders legacy.”
Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-La.) told Republican colleagues in a Jan. 24 “Dear Colleague” letter that he expects the full House to debate and vote on the articles as soon as next week.
“The facts show that President Biden and his Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas have willfully ignored and actively undermined our nation’s immigration laws. My office has documented at least 64 specific actions of his administration that effectively opened our border and instituted the current chaos. Rather than accept accountability, President Biden is now trying to blame Congress for what HE himself intentionally created.
“When we return next week, by necessity, the Homeland Security Committee will move forward with Articles of Impeachment against Secretary Mayorkas. A vote on the floor will be held as soon as possible thereafter.”
Tuesday’s markup of the two impeachment articles follows two previous hearings by the Homeland Security panel in which Republicans produced extensive evidence, including multiple transcripts of interviews with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents described as dramatic reversals of their duties as soon as President Biden took office Jan. 20, 2021.
All 15 of the Democrats on the committee are expected to oppose the Articles of Impeachment. Rep. Bennie Thompson, the Mississippi Democrat who is the Ranking Member of the committee, issued a response to the impeachment articles Sunday.
“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. That should come as no surprise because Republicans’ so-called ‘investigation’ of Secretary Mayorkas has been a remarkably fact-free affair. They are abusing Congress’ impeachment power to appease their MAGA members, score political points, and deflect Americans’ attention from their do-nothing Congress.
“Republicans don’t actually want to work towards bipartisan solutions to fix the border — in fact, they have repeatedly sabotaged the Secretary’s efforts to secure the border and denied DHS’ funding requests. Secretary Mayorkas is upholding the law and honoring the public trust as he has throughout his more than 30 years of service to our Nation. The House must reject this sham resolution.”
Mr. Thompson made public his Jan. 26 letter to Mr. Green making the case against the impeachment, claiming the full House is required to authorize such a process and that Mr. Mayorkas was not given an opportunity to testify in his own defense.
“Until this Congress, Republicans have railed against pursuing impeachment without formal authorization by the full House. The last time a Cabinet official was impeached — the 1876 case of Secretary of War William W. Belknap — the full House authorized several committees to investigate well-publicized cases of fraud in the federal government.
“In this case, however, the full House was not permitted to debate the merits (or lack thereof) of impeaching Secretary Mayorkas or consider the proper procedures for any such investigation.
“Secretary Mayorkas was not afforded any rights in the absence of an authorized impeachment inquiry. Authorizing resolutions not only imbue investigative committees with additional authority and legitimacy, but they also afford subjects of such investigations the ability to respond to the investigation.”
Mr. Thompson also pointedly reminded Mr. Green that, “When the House authorized its impeachment inquiry into former President Donald Trump during the 116th Congress, for example, House Resolution 660 authorized the Committee on the Judiciary to adopt rules allowing for the participation of the President and his counsel.”
The Mississippi Democrat further noted that “Secretary Mayorkas has testified at congressional hearings 27 times during his tenure — more than any other Cabinet secretary. The Secretary said he would ‘make himself available’ to testify before the House Homeland Security Committee, but you refused to accommodate his request and find a mutually agreeable date.”
The DHS also issued a statement Sunday morning on behalf of Mr. Mayorkas, arguing that “this markup is just more of the same political games from House Homeland Security Committee Republicans. They don’t want to fix the problem; they want to campaign on it. That’s why they have undermined efforts to achieve bipartisan solutions and ignored the facts, legal scholars and experts, and even the Constitution itself in their quest to baselessly impeach Secretary Mayorkas.”
In the lengthy statement, the DHS contended that contrary to the allegations detailed in the impeachment articles, “This administration has removed or returned more noncitizens than any previous administration. The majority of all southwest border migrant encounters throughout this administration have been removed, returned, or expelled. Total removals and returns since mid-May exceed removals and returns in every full fiscal year since 2015.”
On the issue of fentanyl, the statement asserted that “DHS has seized more fentanyl and arrested more individuals for fentanyl-related crimes in the last two years than in the previous five years combined.”
And on apprehensions of illegals crossing the border, the statement said that “before 2013, the majority of noncitizens attempting to cross the border entered without being caught. Under this administration, the estimated annual apprehension rate has averaged 78 percent, identical to the rate of the prior administration.”