(The Center Square) – The U.S. House of Representatives voted Tuesday against impeaching U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, with four Republicans joining all Democrats in voting against impeachment.
The vote was 216 to 214 after one Republican changed his vote from “aye” to “nay,” breaking what initially appeared to be a 215-215 tie. After the vote, House Speaker Mike Johnson sought to have a revote, which didn’t happen.
U.S. Reps. Tom McClintock of California, Ken Buck of Colorado, and Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin were the three Republicans who initially voted against impeachment. U.S. Rep. Blake Moore, R-Utah, switched his vote from “aye” to “nay” at the last minute in a move that would allow the resolution to be brought back to the House floor for another vote.
Tuesday’s vote, a stunning loss for the Republican majorioty, came after multiple members of Congress and attorneys general called on Congress to impeach and remove Mayorkas from office, saying he was derelict in duty and has created a national security threat.
U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Rep. Mark Green, R-Tenn., led the charge for impeachment, arguing Mayorkas is derelict of duty. His committee held over a dozen hearings and issued multiple reports over the past year, which The Center Square has extensively covered, making the case for impeachment.
The committee identified over a dozen parole programs Mayorkas created that it says are illegal, a more than tenfold increase in illegal border crossings resulting from his policies, a more than 20-fold increase in cartel enrichment, skyrocketing fentanyl distribution and poisonings. The committee points to the greatest number of illegal entries in U.S. history, with millions of single military age men illegally entering under his watch; DHS has no idea who or where they are. The greatest number of known or suspected terrorists have also been apprehended under his watch, with concerns about those who haven’t been caught. Retired FBI counter intelligence officials recently warned Congress that a preventable, but likely, terrorist attack is imminent as a result of his policies.
Green filed House Resolution 863, which includes two articles of impeachment against Mayorkas. Article 1 says 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.”
Article 2 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.”
The articles also cite examples of Mayorkas knowingly making false statements to Congress under oath, refusing to respond to subpoenas and obstructing federal investigations into DHS.
Mayorkas argues the articles are “baseless” and he’s followed the law. The White House, DHS and House Democrats maintain the impeachment articles don’t meet the standard for “high crimes and misdemeanors” and are a political ploy.
After failing to appear before Green’s committee in the last round of investigative hearings, Mayorkas sent a letter defending his record. Green said his “11th-hour response” was “inadequate and unbecoming of a cabinet secretary.”