House Republicans to Try Again to Impeach Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas

Then-Secretary of War George Belknap, a Union Navy commander in the Civil War, was the first presidential cabinet member to suffer official denunciation

Republicans in the House of Representatives will try a second time Tuesday after failing by one vote a week ago to impeach Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. They may succeed thanks to the return of Major Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.).

Mayorkas survived Republicans’ first attempt on Feb. 6 but only just barely. When all the votes were counted, there were 215 for impeachment on two counts and 215 against. Legislation is considered not approved in the event of a tie vote. The official final vote was 216 nays and 214 nos after Rep. Blake Moore (R-Utah), who is a member of the House Republican leadership, changed his aye vote to nay in a parliamentary move that ensured the impeachment resolution could be brought back for a second vote this week.

Scalise was not present last week, however, as he was undergoing medical treatments for blood cancer. But the Louisiana Republican is back on Capitol Hill this week after being cleared by doctors, and he is expected to cast the 217th vote for impeachment.

If that happens, Mr. Mayorkas will become only the second presidential cabinet member to be impeached in American history. Former Secretary of War George Belknap was the first impeached by the House on five counts in 1876. The Senate did not convict Belknap, who resigned from office.

Three Republicans joined all 213 House Democrats in defeating the impeachment resolution last week, including Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wisc.) and Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.).  Mr. Buck and Mr. McLintock said they voted nay because the impeachment resolution did not, in their judgment, prove Mr. Mayorkas had committed impeachable crimes.

Next to Zhou Fengsuo (L), executive director of Human Rights in China, Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) speaks at a press conference and rally in front of the America ChangLe Association (A now-closed overseas Chinese police station is located inside the association building.) highlighting Beijing's transnational repression, in New York City, on Feb. 25, 2023. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)
Next to Zhou Fengsuo (L), executive director of Human Rights in China, Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) speaks at a press conference and rally in front of the America ChangLe Association (A now-closed overseas Chinese police station is located inside the association building.) highlighting Beijing’s transnational repression, in New York City, on Feb. 25, 2023. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

Mr. Gallagher explained his nay vote on the basis of his opposition to “opening a pandora’s box” of strictly politically motivated impeachments. The Feb. 6 vote in the House was the third impeachment vote since 2019, with the two prior votes being against then-President Donald Trump. The Senate declined to convict Mr. Trump on either of those impeachments. The same result is expected on the Mayorkas impeachment if it reaches the Senate.

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Mr. Buck and Mr. Gallagher have announced their plans not to seek re-election in November. Mr. Buck is serving his fifth two-year term in the House, while Mr. Gallagher is serving his fourth term. Mr. Gallagher’s departure will be especially felt in the House Republican Conference because he is Chairman of the House Select Committee on Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party,  Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Cyber, Information Technologies, and Innovation, and is a member of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Democrats almost lost the vote of Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) last week, who had undergone emergency surgery earlier in the day, but he was wheeled onto the House floor just in time to cast his vote against impeachment. Mr. Green is expected to be present for the second vote and will again cast a no vote.

House Republican leaders want to hold the second vote Tuesday because they may lose a New York special election the same day to replace former Rep. George Santos, the Republican expelled from the House in December.

Former Rep. Tom Suozzi, who was defeated in the 2022 congressional election by Mr. Santos, and Republican Mazi Pilip are competing to replace the disgraced Republican. Mr. Suozzi is favored to retake the seat, but he cannot be sworn in in time for the second impeachment vote.

(Left) Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY) debates in the race for governor at the studios of WNBC4-TV in New York, on June 16, 2022. (Right) Nassau County legislator Mazi Melesa Pilip speaks during a press conference at American Legion Post 1066 in Massapequa, New York, on Dec. 15, 2023. (Craig Ruttle-Pool/Getty Images; Adam Gray/Getty Images)
(Left) Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY) debates in the race for governor at the studios of WNBC4-TV in New York, on June 16, 2022. (Right) Nassau County legislator Mazi Melesa Pilip speaks during a press conference at American Legion Post 1066 in Massapequa, New York, on Dec. 15, 2023. (Craig Ruttle-Pool/Getty Images; Adam Gray/Getty Images)

“His refusal to obey the law is not only an offense against the separation of powers in the Constitution of the United States, it also threatens our national security and has had a dire impact on communities across the country,” it reads.

Article II accused Mr. Mayorkas of breaching the public trust by having “knowingly made false statements, and knowingly obstructed lawful oversight of the Department of Homeland Security [DHS], principally to obfuscate the results of his willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law.”

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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