By Bethany Blankley [The Center Square contributor] & The Tennessee Conservative Staff –
The U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security voted along party lines early Wednesday to advance two articles of impeachment against Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
It did so after over several hours of debate, multiple motions filed, objections, appeals, points of order and motions to table; multiple voice and recorded votes, several recession breaks and even arguments over the breaks, as Democratic committee members continuously tried to delay the final vote.
The articles move to the full House, where Speaker Mike Johnson, R-Louisiana, has said a vote would “be held as soon as possible thereafter.”
Article 1, “Willful and Systemic Refusal to Comply with the Law,” states Mayorkas violated his oath “to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, to bear true faith and allegiance to the same, and to well and faithfully discharge the duties of his office, has willfully and systemically refused to comply with Federal immigration laws.”
Mayorkas repeatedly violated laws enacted by Congress on immigration and border security, the article states, which violate the separation of powers in the Constitution and “threatens our national security.” Mayorkas also refused to enforce laws established by Congress and unilaterally created programs in direct violation of them, including over a dozen parole programs identified by the committee as illegal, according to the article.
Article 2, “Breach of the Public Trust,” states Mayorkas violated his oath “to well and faithfully discharge the duties” because he “knowingly made false statements, and knowingly obstructed lawful oversight of the Department of Homeland Security of his office.”
It cites examples of Mayorkas knowingly making false statements to Congress when he testified the border is ‘‘secure,” “no less secure than it was previously,” ‘‘closed,” and DHS has ‘‘operational control’’ of the border as defined in the Secure Fence Act of 2006, when data from his own agency contradicts his claims.
Mayorkas also knowingly made false statements about apprehensions and removal of “aliens with no legal basis to remain in the United States” and “knowingly made false statements supporting the false narrative that U.S. Border Patrol agents maliciously whipped illegal aliens,” the articles states.
Throughout the hours-log hearing Tuesday, House Democrats repeatedly said the charges did not rise to the level of impeachment and the hearing was a “sham,” “political crusade,” “political stunt,” “about President Trump,” “a scam,” unconstitutional, violated due process, among other claims.
Overall, Democrats filed dozens of amendments, which they demanded be read out loud and voted on, all of which failed.
If the Republican majority House eventually votes to impeach Mayorkas, he would be the second cabinet member in U.S. history and the first in nearly 150 years to be impeached. Secretary of War William Belknap, serving under President Ulysses S. Grant, was impeached March 2, 1876. Although he had resigned, he stood trial before the U.S. Senate as a former government official and was acquitted.
The office of the Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security, Congressman Mark Green (R-TN-District 7) released the following press release:
The House Committee on Homeland Security, led by Chairman Mark Green, voted favorably to advance the articles of impeachment against Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas out of committee:
Chairman Green said: “The facts are indisputable—for three years, Secretary Mayorkas has willfully and systemically refused to comply with the laws enacted by Congress, and he has breached the public trust. His actions created this unprecedented crisis, turning every state into a border state.
“As a result, thousands of Americans have lost their lives and our nation is experiencing a historic national security, public safety, and humanitarian catastrophe. Make no mistake, Secretary Mayorkas’ lawlessness is exactly what the Framers of our Constitution designed impeachment to remedy. The historical record makes it clear—Congress holds impeachment power to hold accountable public officials who refuse to do their duty, and to deal with grave harms to our political order.
“I am proud of the Committee for advancing these historic articles. I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to do the right thing, put aside the politics, and agree that before we can fix Secretary Mayorkas’ mess, Congress must finally hold this man accountable.”
Read the articles here.
BACKGROUND: The House Committee on Homeland Security approved these articles following a nearly year-long investigation into the causes, costs, and consequences of the unprecedented crisis at America’s borders. Throughout the process, Secretary Mayorkas refused to cooperate with requests to appear before the Committee to provide testimony in defense of his refusal to comply with U.S. immigration laws and his breach of the public trust.
Throughout the five-phase investigation that culminated in these impeachment proceedings, the Committee published detailed reports of its findings, totaling nearly 400 pages, which are linked below:
- Phase 1 Interim Report: DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ Dereliction of Duty
- Phase 2 Interim Report: DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas Has Emboldened Cartels, Criminals, and America’s Enemies
- Phase 3 Interim Report: The Devastating Human Costs of the DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ Open-Borders Policies
- Phase 4 Interim Report: The Historic Dollar Costs of DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ Open-Borders Policies
- Phase 5 Interim Report: The Massive Waste and Abuse Enabled by DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
- Transcribed Interview Appendix: First-Hand Accounts of the Crisis From Border Patrol Sector Chiefs
As part of the investigative process, the Committee has conducted 10 full and subcommittee hearings, gathering testimony from more than two dozen witnesses. The Committee, along with the House Oversight Committee, also conducted transcribed interviews of chief and deputy chief patrol agents responsible for the Border Patrol’s nine Southwest border sectors as part of this investigation. These senior agents gave compelling testimony about the many consequences of Secretary Mayorkas’ open borders:
- Never before have agents seen such historic numbers of illegal crossings
- The lack of consequences enforced by DHS for illegal entry
- Mass releases functioning as a pull factor for millions of illegal aliens
- Illegal aliens are now turning themselves in to Border Patrol, knowing they will be released into the interior
- The expansive degree of cartel control at the Southwest border
- Agents are being taken out of the field in order to help process and release illegal aliens
- Illegal aliens are spreading the word of our open border back home, encouraging more crossings
- The operational impacts of open borders, including closed checkpoints and national security/public safety risks
- Border Patrol sector chiefs contradict Secretary Mayorkas, say they do not have operational control in their sectors
About the Author: Bethany Blankley is a writer at the Center Square, Patheos/Hedgerow, political analyst and former press secretary at Capitol Hill / NY / WDC. Follow Bethany on Twitter @BethanyBlankley.