Reports have emerged that Republican leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives is planning to impeach Joe Biden’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, in the event that they retake the majority in November’s midterm elections.
According to Axios, plans to impeach Mayorkas are already being laid out by the Republican Study Committee (RSC), the largest conservative coalition in the House, with over 150 members. On Monday, an open letter was sent to Mayorkas that was signed by 133 members of the RSC, including Chairman Jim Banks (R-Ind.), and Brian Babin (R-Texas.), co-chair of the Border Security Caucus; although the letter did not mention impeachment, it nevertheless made the case by listing a number of complaints that the group has about Mayorkas’ open-borders and mass amnesty approach to immigration.
Other signatories included House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), and Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), all of the top three highest-ranking Republican members of the House.
An anonymous RSC member told Axios that most members of the committee already want to impeach Mayorkas; however, they are holding back for now in order to build a stronger consensus and get approval from party leadership, particularly from McCarthy. The source said that McCarthy, who is most likely to become Speaker of the House in the event of a Republican takeover, “wants to make the case before we go for the jugular.”
The rumblings of a Mayorkas impeachment represent a strategic shift among the Republican caucus with regards to its planned use of impeachment after the midterms. There have previously been calls to impeach Biden himself for a number of offenses, including covering up his son Hunter’s business dealings with foreign companies that saw him take advantage of his father’s political power, both as vice president and again as president. Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) introduced articles of impeachment against Biden the day after his inauguration, accusing him of “enabling bribery and other high crimes and misdemeanors.”
The process of impeachment has become increasingly politicized in recent years, with House Democrats weaponizing it during the Trump presidency to impeach him twice; in the first case, he was impeached for attempting to investigate Biden’s corruption with regard to Hunter’s relationship with a Ukrainian gas company, and the elder Biden’s subsequent admitted efforts to shut down the Ukrainian government’s investigation into that company.
Trump was impeached a second time following the peaceful protests at the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021, during which he was falsely accused of “inciting insurrection.” He was acquitted in both cases, becoming the first president in American history to be impeached and acquitted twice.
The primary complaints with Mayorkas stem from his failure to enforce border security, leading to a historic surge of illegal aliens flooding the border and entering the country illegally. U.S. Representative Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) introduced a resolution to impeach Mayorkas for his border policies, which has currently garnered 29 co-sponsors.
Only once before has a member of the Cabinet been impeached: Secretary of War William Belknap in 1876, who was accused of bribery but was acquitted in the subsequent trial.