Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas hasn’t done a great job. In fact, many would argue that he has completely abandoned his duty to keep America safe. The evidence supporting that statement is mounting. Millions of undocumented people have entered the country on Mayorkas’ watch. Among these illegal aliens, who are now spread across the United States, might be tens or even hundreds who mean to do us harm. That alone seems like a reason to believe the head of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) should be impeached, but there are several other reasons why attempting to impeach him was a fool’s errand. Now that Mayorkas has – for now – narrowly survived the reckless move to oust him, Republicans should face the truth and learn a valuable lesson.
First, and most obviously, House Republicans didn’t have the numbers to get an impeachment to the Senate. Had they, by some minor miracle, gotten the votes to do so, the Democrat-controlled Senate would not have convicted. It should always have been understood that even Republicans in the upper chamber would not have unanimously voted to remove Mayorkas.
Of course, Democrats knew they had no chance of getting a conviction when they twice impeached former President Donald Trump and yet they did it anyway. But impeaching a president is, in reality, less constitutionally questionable than impeaching a Cabinet minister – in the absence of clear evidence of criminal activity. Though the Constitution allows for the impeachment of “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers,” it was never intended as a tool to remove executive branch officials for not doing their jobs sufficiently well. That an apparently unqualified man remains at the head of the DHS is a transgression Republicans should lay at Joe Biden’s feet.
Mayorkas – Incompetent but Not Impeachable
Has Mayorkas done anything that rises to the level of an impeachable offense? Gross negligence and ineptitude don’t meet the standard. If Republicans had successfully banished the DHS chief through impeachment, it is a sure bet that, come January 2025, if Trump returns to the White House but Democrats take control of the House of Representatives, one or two – or perhaps all – of Trump’s Cabinet members might well find themselves being impeached for whatever reasons Trump’s opponents could dream up. Democrat-aligned groups have, after all, signaled their intent to use every legal trick and loophole in the book to bury a possible future Trump administration in lawsuits for his entire term.
Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA), who chairs the Subcommittee on Immigration Integrity, Security, and Enforcement, may have put it best when he wrote on the X social media platform: “The only way to stop the border invasion is to replace the Biden administration at the ballot box.” McClintock nailed it with his explanation of why he intended to vote against Mayorkas’ impeachment:
“Swapping one leftist for another is a fantasy, solves nothing, excuses Biden’s culpability, and unconstitutionally expands impeachment that someday will bite Republicans.”
So, another reason why this GOP effort would have been fruitless even if it had succeeded. Biden simply would have replaced Mayorkas with someone equally as bad, if not worse. Nothing would have changed.
The consequences of failing to remove Mayorkas – and, worse still, failing to even get an impeachment – are not good at all for the GOP. Biden gets to spike the ball and House Democrats get plenty of ammunition to use in their fight to win a majority in the lower chamber. They can now tell the voters that House Republicans put politics before problem-solving – and there will be some validity to that claim. At least two Republicans say an impeachment resolution will be heading back to the House floor within a week. At this point, Republican voters must be wondering if their party is trying to hand over complete control of Congress to Democrats in November.