The House Homeland Security Committee is set to initiate impeachment proceedings against Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, with proceedings scheduled to begin on January 10, according to a report from Punchbowl News on Wednesday.
Homeland Security Committee Chair Mark Green, R-Tenn., announced last month, following the conclusion of the committee’s investigation, that there is sufficient evidence to impeach Secretary Mayorkas. Green accused Mayorkas of misusing taxpayer funds and intentionally neglecting border security measures.
“Our investigation made clear that this crisis finds its foundation in Secretary Mayorkas’ decision-making and refusal to enforce the laws passed by Congress, and that his failure to fulfill his oath of office demands accountability,” stated Green. “The bipartisan House vote in November to refer articles of impeachment to my committee only served to highlight the importance of our taking up the impeachment process – which is what we will begin doing next Wednesday.”
The move comes amid a surge of migrants seeking asylum in the U.S., with Customs and Border Protection reporting 10,000 border crossings a day, as reported by The Messenger.
In November, Mayorkas narrowly avoided impeachment when moderate Republicans broke from their party, choosing to refer the inquiry to the committee rather than conducting an up-or-down vote.
If the impeachment proceeds, it would mark the first impeachment of a Cabinet secretary since Secretary of War William Belknap in 1876, according to Punchbowl News. The process would involve a majority vote in the House, followed by a trial in the Senate, requiring two-thirds of senators to vote for conviction to remove Mayorkas from office.
DHS spokesperson Mia Ehrenberg countered the impeachment move, stating that the House GOP has “no valid basis” for impeaching Mayorkas. Ehrenberg characterized the effort as a “baseless political exercise” that has been rejected by members of both parties and failed on a bipartisan vote.