Setting the stage for an impeachment trial of US Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, a House committee heard harrowing testimony from parents who sought to link the government’s border policy to the deaths of their daughters and from a law professor who warns that efforts are not. comply with the constitution.
Committee Chairman Mark Green intends to expedite a Mayorkas vote by the end of the month, preparing the entire House for action in early February. This is the first time the case of a Cabinet official has been voted on in nearly 150 years.
Green, R-Tenn., began the second impeachment hearing by saying “no American is safe” with Mayorkas overseeing the US-Mexico border, where there is a record of illegal crossings. He argued that the secretary’s “gross misconduct and failure to perform his duties” justified impeachment.
But the panel’s top Democrat, Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, insisted that political differences with President Joe Biden did not justify impeachment. And this was supported by one of the witnesses, Princeton University law professor Deborah Pearlstein.
“Political trials are not about political differences, no matter how deep,” Pearlstein said.
Since they were the majority last year, House Republicans are eager to impeach Mayorkas, especially since their efforts to prosecute Biden over his son’s businesses have stalled.
It comes as the issue of border security comes to the fore in an election year. Donald Trump, the favorite to become the Republican candidate for the White House, has promised to launch the largest “deportation operation” in the history of the United States if he wins the presidency.
Mayorkas told the commission he could not attend Thursday’s hearing but would be available for other dates.
At the hearing, one of the witnesses, Josephine Dunn, testified that her daughter Ashley died of a fentanyl overdose and said she had traveled from Arizona for the opportunity to question Mayorkas.
“Mr. Mayorkas is partly responsible for my daughter’s death,” said the woman. “I hope what he does is more important than that.”