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, 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.
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.