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ROUNDUP: MAGA Republicans Are Impeaching DHS Secretary Mayorkas While Killing Bipartisan Border Deal

Feb 5, 2024

While MAGA House Republicans are too busy focusing on the baseless impeachment of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas they are blatantly ignoring the priorities of Americans across the country. Last week, the Homeland Security Committee voted to send articles of impeachment to the House floor for a vote without a shred of evidence of high crimes or misdemeanors or having the Secretary testify for himself in front of the committee. 

This impeachment stunt is nothing but a preplanned, predetermined game of politics. Want proof? MAGA Republicans like the Homeland Security Committee chair have been promising donors that they would impeach the Secretary since April 2023. MAGA House Republicans are doing nothing but Donald Trump’s bidding, pursuing baseless impeachment stunts and killing the bipartisan border deal to hurt President Biden ahead of the 2024 election and help their disgraced former President return to the White House. They are ignoring the priorities of Americans across the country, not accomplishing any legislation on things that actually matter.


The New York Times (Opinion): The Silly Putty Republicans. “Opening a half-baked, highly partisan investigation into President Biden was a cheap stunt. But I’d argue that as House Republicans move forward with a floor vote to impeach Alejandro Mayorkas, the homeland security secretary, they are poised to drag the chamber down an even more tortured — and potentially damaging — path… In targeting Mr. Mayorkas, Republican lawmakers aren’t really even bothering to pretend there are ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ at issue. The essence of their case is that the secretary has done a lousy job dealing with the influx of migrants across the southern border. They charge that he has repeatedly violated immigration-related laws, fueling the surge, and abused the public trust by lying to Congress about how insecure the border actually is… Pretty much everyone recognizes that this is not really about Mr. Mayorkas — who, as a cabinet official, is responsible for carrying out the policy preferences of the president. Those policies, obviously, are what House Republicans are riled up about. By putting the secretary through an impeachment inquiry, Donald Trump’s congressional team is putting Mr. Biden’s border record on trial in the midst of a high-stakes presidential contest. It is a tawdry political ploy dressed up as a high-minded policy dispute. But — and I cannot stress this enough — even the highest-minded policy dispute is not grounds for impeachment.” [New York Times, 2/5/24]

The Washington Post (Editorial): Impeaching Mayorkas Would Debase The House, Not Secure The Border. “The Republican majority in the House of Representatives is still plugging away at its impeachment inquiry aimed at President Biden. So far, it has provided scant evidence that Mr. Biden committed ‘high crimes and misdemeanors.’ Blatantly partisan as that endeavor is, it’s not the only misuse of Congress’s impeachment power going on at the moment. The other such effort targets Alejandro Mayorkas, the secretary of homeland security. If anything, this is the bigger embarrassment to the House… Conservative legal experts who understand all of this have spoken out against the Mayorkas impeachment. Michael Chertoff, homeland security secretary under President George W. Bush, opined that the committee’s lengthy investigation ‘failed to put forth evidence that meets the bar.’ George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, who testified for Republicans against the impeachment of then-President Donald Trump in 2019, says ‘this is a slippery slope that we would be wise to avoid.’… Instead of this phony persecution of the secretary, Republicans should be spending their time on constructive efforts to reform the broken policies and bureaucracies — including an overwhelmed and outmoded asylum system — that have rendered the border so chaotic. In fact, the bipartisan border deal being finalized in the Senate looks as though it would give the GOP policy changes it has long sought. So far, however, Republican lawmakers seem reluctant even to bring such a bill to the House floor, because former president Donald Trump denounces compromise as a win for Mr. Biden. Mr. Trump’s stance, like the Mayorkas impeachment, shows that Republicans would rather have an immigration issue than immigration solutions.” [Washington Post, 2/2/24]

San Antonio Express-News (Editorial): Impeaching Mayorkas Is An Abuse Of The Process. “Republicans outdid themselves with the recent resolution approving articles of impeachment against Alejandro Mayorkas, the homeland security secretary. The charges— refusing to uphold the law and betraying the public trust by failing to stem illegal immigration — are outrageously political. Failed strategies hardly constitute high crimes and misdemeanors, the standard for impeaching a government official… ‘The flaw is the charge,’ Philip Bobbitt, a law professor at Columbia University, said. ‘The Homeland Security Committee has not charged a constitutional offense, so the fact that they are distressed and enraged by the secretary’s actions doesn’t really attach to the impeachment clause.’… As the problem grows, the Republican response remains the same, theatrics substituting for policy. The time and energy wasted on the impeachment battle could be used to craft immigration reform.” [San Antonio Express-News, 2/4/24]

The Washington Post (Opinion): Crisis! Crisis! Crisis! Oh, Never Mind. “And now, even as House Republicans wail about a ‘crisis’ and an ‘invasion’ at the border, they are mobilizing to kill a bipartisan deal emerging in the Senate to reform asylum claims and to beef up border security — regarded as the toughest immigration legislation in decades. Biden says he would ‘shut down the border right now’ if given the authorities in the proposal. Instead of declaring victory and embracing the legislation they have long demanded, House Republicans are moving to impeach the administration’s lead negotiator on the proposal — Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas — on charges so flimsy they do not identify a crime of any kind… As with the border security bill that House Republicans are now killing, the purpose isn’t to fix a problem. It’s to exploit one.” [The Washington Post (Opinion), 2/2/24]

The Chattanooga Times Free Press (Opinion): Mayorkas Isn’t To Blame For Border Mess. House Republicans Should Impeach Themselves. “Given their bare majority in the House, Republicans can only lose two votes on the impeachment resolution if the tally falls along party lines, and several Republicans are on the fence. Rep. Tom McClintock, who’s among several California Republicans running in swing districts, wrote his constituents late last year that the authors of the Constitution explicitly rejected ‘maladministration, malfeasance, and neglect of duties’ as impeachable offenses.” [The Chattanooga Times Free Press (Opinion) (originally published in the Los Angeles Times), 2/2/24]


The Hill: How Hard-Line Republicans Pushed A Mayorkas Impeachment To The Floor. “MAGA-wing Republicans and House Democrats agree on one thing: It’s the far-right wing of the GOP conference that would deserve the credit for Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’s impeachment. […] It was the so-called MAGA wing that kept beating the drum on Mayorkas’s impeachment, and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) in particular who helped push it over the edge. ‘Bitch, bully, and bulldoze,’ Greene said of her strategy that pushed the issue forward. ‘I told leadership I would do it every week. I said I’ll put it on the floor every week, force Congress to vote on it until we do something about this, until he’s impeached,’ she said, adding that she was promised the Homeland Security Committee would move on the articles in January. The panel beat the deadline by one day.” [The Hill, 2/4/24]

The New York Times: Inside Impeachment’s Rise As A Weapon Of Partisan Warfare. “Indeed, threats of impeachment have become a favorite pastime for Republicans following the lead of former President Donald J. Trump, who has pressed his allies for payback for his own two impeachments while in office. The chances of Mr. Mayorkas, much less Mr. Biden, ever being convicted in the Senate, absent some shocking revelation, seem to be just about zero, and the others appear in no serious danger even of being formally accused by the House. But impeachment, once seen as perhaps the most serious check on corruption and abuse of power developed by the founders, now looks in danger of becoming a constitutional dead letter, just another weapon in today’s bitter, tit-for-tat partisan wars.” [The New York Times, 2/1/24]

Mother Jones: Mike Johnson Is Still Against Single-Party Impeachments. Unless He’s Leading One. “‘The founders of this country warned against the single-party impeachment,’ [Johnson] said in December 2019, as the House of Representatives moved forward with the first impeachment of President Donald Trump. ‘They feared it would bitterly and perhaps irreparably divide our nation.’ Despite the fact that a Republican-led impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is imminent, Johnson said he stands by that statement. […] …Republicans are scrambling to make the case to impeach Mayorkas: As with previous congressional hearings and public attacks against the DHS secretary, the first official impeachment inquiry into Mayorkas once again exposed how legally weak Republicans’ case is. ‘They are angry that this administration won’t take babies from their moms or put kids in cages like the previous administration,’ Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said, adding the ‘impeachment sham’ wasn’t about facts or the law, but about politics. ‘You cannot impeach a cabinet secretary because you don’t like the president’s policies,’ he continued.  Even some conservative legal scholars agree. Jonathan Turley, a legal analyst for Fox News, wrote in the Daily Beast on Monday that there is ‘no current evidence that [Mayorkas] is corrupt or committed an impeachable offense. He can be legitimately accused of effectuating an open border policy, but that is a disagreement on policy that is traced to the president.’” [Mother Jones, 2/4/24

The Washington Post: The Dicey Push To Impeach Secretary Mayorkas. “House Republicans have threatened impeachments of many Biden administration officials. But only two processes have been formalized: the ones against President Biden himself and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. It looks increasingly as though Biden might not be impeached after all. And despite House Speaker Mike Johnson’s (R-La.) assurance that Mayorkas ‘is going to be impeached,’ it would most likely be by the thinnest of margins. The declaration by Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) Thursday that he’s a ‘solid’ no on impeaching Mayorkas means Republicans won’t be unanimous. By virtue of the House GOP’s exceedingly slim majority, Buck’s position also puts the spotlight on several other holdouts — some of whom have joined GOP-aligned experts in raising concerns about the grounds for impeaching Mayorkas. Those critics and Buck have said the GOP’s effort doesn’t meet the constitutional threshold for ‘high crimes and misdemeanors,’ because it’s basically about a policy dispute. […] Republicans are also contending with an emerging narrative that they’re playing politics rather than trying to do something about the border crisis — a narrative furthered by some of their own colleagues.” [The Washington Post, 2/2/24]

Politico Playbook: Playbook: Forget About A Senate Mayorkas Trial. “As Republicans have taken steps toward impeaching Homeland Security Secretary ALEJANDRO MAYORKAS, political prognosticators — admittedly, yours truly included — have warned about the possibility of a high-profile, border-related Senate impeachment trial falling smack in middle of an already contentious election year… They’ve got some hefty legal brains who agree with this play. Impeachment scholar JOSHUA MATZ, who worked on both DONALD TRUMP impeachments and has written extensively on the topic, tells Playbook that Democrats have a host of solid justifications to forgo a Senate trial altogether. The first is the most obvious: The founders didn’t want impeachment to be used for everyday policy disagreements. ‘Impeachment trials are meant to be deadly serious business for matters of state — not free publicity for the House majority to air policy attacks on the current administration,’ Matz said. The existing impeachment articles are “so manifestly about policy disagreement rather than anything that could arguably qualify as high crimes and misdemeanors, that it would be unwarranted to waste the Senate’s time with the trial on the matter.” [Politico, 2/4/24]

AP News: Mayorkas Is Driven By His Own Understanding Of The Immigrant Experience. Many In GOP Want Him Gone. “Republicans particularly criticize Mayorkas for what they say is a failure to detain migrants and for his use of humanitarian parole to admit hundreds of thousands of people into the country who otherwise could not get a visa… Targeting an official for impeachment over a policy dispute — in Mayorkas’ case, over the Republicans’ claim that he is not upholding immigration laws — is unprecedented.” [AP News, 2/3/24]