The House Homeland Security Committee kicked off its first hearing on January 10 in its effort to impeach DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, with Republican committee members blasting the secretary’s dereliction of duty in securing the border and Democrats calling the impeachment proceedings meritless and politically motivated, CNN reported.
While the impeachment inquiry into President Biden has faced some skepticism among House Republicans, GOP leaders in the House believe that impeaching Mayorkas would be a much easier task given the ongoing crisis at the border and the record numbers of illegals that have entered the US since Biden took office.
The 1876 impeachment of Secretary of War William Belknap is the only time in the nation’s history a Cabinet secretary has ever been impeached.
In late November, the full House voted 209 to 201 to refer Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s impeachment resolution of Mayorkas to the relevant committees before the full House voted on the measure.
The Homeland Security Committee is expected to hold additional hearings as part of its impeachment proceedings. Once the hearings are completed, the committee is expected to conduct a markup on the articles of impeachment against the secretary, followed by a vote in the committee.
If the committee vote succeeds, the stage would be set for the articles of impeachment to return to the full House for a vote.
Homeland Committee Chairman Mark Green (R-TN) said during last week’s hearing that criminal behavior is not the only grounds for impeachment. Green argued that impeachment could be used to remove officials who are guilty of “gross incompetence,” especially if their conduct endangered Americans, was a dereliction of duty, or “betrayed the public trust.”
Green asserted that Secretary Mayorkas “brazenly refused” to enforce immigration laws. He accused Mayorkas of enacting policies “that knowingly make our country less safe.”
The ranking Democrat on the committee, Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson, called the proceedings against Secretary Mayorkas “baseless” and accused Republicans of using the impeachment process as a “political stunt” during an election year.