House Republicans Impeach Mayorkas By a Single Vote

( – Congressional Republicans have been on a mission to impeach President Joe Biden and various Cabinet officials. They have filed articles to impeach several, including Vice President Kamala Harris, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Attorney General Merrick Garland, and FBI Director Christopher Wray.

While their inquiry into the president has not yet produced any concrete evidence of wrongdoing, they did manage to impeach a Cabinet official and made history in the process.

Republicans Impeach Mayorkas

Less than a week after House Republicans failed to impeach Mayorkas and came out against the bipartisan border security bill he helped craft, lawmakers brought the impeachment resolution to the floor again. On February 13, Republicans successfully voted 214 to 213 to impeach the secretary, making him the second Cabinet official in history to suffer the fate.

Republicans brought the issue to the floor again because Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) was back on Capitol Hill after being off for about a month for cancer surgery. Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) was not present because she tested positive for an illness. The Hill reported Chu released a statement explaining she wasn’t on the floor for the vote because she was isolating herself. She said that the impeachment was “an abuse of power by House Republicans” and that impeachment wasn’t a solution for “policy disagreements.”

Mayorkas faced two articles of impeachment. Republicans on the Homeland Security Committee accused him of “willfully and systemically” refusing to enforce the country’s immigration laws. He was also accused of breaching public trust, as well, by allegedly lying to Congress by telling them the border was secure.

Last Cabinet Official Impeached

The last time the House voted to impeach a Cabinet official was in 1876. Secretary of War William Belknap, who served President Ulysses Grant, was impeached for his role in a trader post scandal. The secretary was known for having an extravagant lifestyle, according to the Senate website, and allegedly received kickbacks from a businessman who was operating Fort Sill in Oklahoma.

Before the House voted on impeachment, Belknap resigned from his position. The impeachment vote proceeded and passed. However, the Senate found him not guilty.

What’s Next?

The case against Mayorkas will eventually be sent over to the Senate. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) will serve as the impeachment manager for a potential trial. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said the House GOP failed to prove Mayorkas did anything wrong and didn’t produce any evidence of high crimes or misdemeanors, the constitutional standard for impeachment.

Schumer didn’t say how he will deal with the issue in the Senate. Two-thirds of the Senate would have to vote to convict Mayorkas, an outcome that seems unlikely.

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