Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News
Friday, the Department of Homeland Security announced it has retained counsel to help in the event that the Republican-led House makes good on threats to impeach Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
As first reported by Politico, DHS has hired New-York based Debevoise & Plimpton to head up an impeachment defense, a move necessitated by the fact that Homeland Security doesn’t have in-house counsel with specific expertise handling impeachments.
“The Department of Homeland Security has retained outside counsel to help ensure the Department’s vital mission is not interrupted by the unprecedented, unjustified, and partisan impeachment efforts by some Members of Congress, who have already taken steps to initiate proceedings,” a DHS spokesperson said in a statement. “DHS will continue prioritizing its work to protect our country from terrorism, respond to natural disasters, and secure our borders while responding appropriately to the over 70 Congressional committees and subcommittees that have oversight of DHS.”
Conservatives have never been shy about their desire to oust Mayorkas, who they believe has mishandled the crisis at the southern border.
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) has already filed articles of impeachment, but, as of this writing, the House has not passed this motion.
“No ‘outside law firm’ will protect Mayorkas from impeachment,” Biggs tweeted. “We won’t stop until he is removed from office.”
No "outside law firm" will protect Mayorkas from impeachment.
We won't stop until he is removed from office. https://t.co/1oNDDefwM7
— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) February 10, 2023
Biggs has argued that Mayorkas committed an impeachable offense when he failed to fully enforce the “Secure Fence Act of 2006,” which requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to take all steps “necessary and appropriate to achieve and maintain operational control over the entire international land and maritime borders of the United States.”
“Instead of taking all actions ‘necessary and appropriate’ to achieve operational control of the border, Secretary Mayorkas is facilitating illegal immigration through the nonenforcement of laws we have already on the books and by willfully reversing necessary border policies,” Biggs said in a statement.
Biggs was the second House Republican to move to impeach Mayorkas. In January, Rep. Pat Fallon of Texas had attempted to have Mayorkas impeached on the grounds that, in Fallon’s opinion, Mayorkas had encouraged illegal immigration at the southern border.
Fallon has since expanded the scope of his criticism to include President Joe Biden, who faces a far more robust set of investigations than his Homeland Security director.
“Our southern border has never been less secure,” Fallon tweeted Saturday. “Make no mistake about it, Joe Biden’s Far Left open border policies are responsible for this historic crisis.”
Our southern border has never been less secure. Make no mistake about it, Joe Biden’s Far Left open border policies are responsible for this historic crisis. pic.twitter.com/oZJKN8VFWf
— Rep. Pat Fallon (@RepPatFallon) February 11, 2023
While impeaching sitting presidents has become a more frequent occurrence in recent years, former President Donald Trump having fought off two impeachment efforts by Democrats, the impeachment of a member of the president’s cabinet is exceedingly rare.
According to research by The Hill, one has to go back to 1876 to find the most recent example of a cabinet-level impeachment.
Mayorkas has been relatively silent on his future, although he has pledged to fight the impeachment. Such a fight will likely prove profitable for Mayorkas who, thanks to facing a Democrat-run Senate, is all but guaranteed to keep his job.