Republicans will impeach Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas if they have enough votes (Part-2)

The secretary, a veteran federal prosecutor, never testified but sent a rare letter justifying his actions. Mayorkas has been bouncing to the Senate to negotiate a bipartisan border security measure, receiving praise from a number of senators. Tuesday's vote comes at a politically strange time.

One of the most comprehensive immigration overhauls in years, the bill surfaced Sunday and will be tested Wednesday. Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., calls the bipartisan initiative “dead on arrival.” Other Republicans oppose it

Johnson, with one of the weakest House majorities ever, may not have enough Republican backing to impeach Mayorkas. A few holdouts remained before the vote.

If Republicans impeach Mayorkas, he is unlikely to be convicted in a Senate trial where Republican senators are opposed. Instead of acting immediately, the Senate may submit the topic to a committee for inquiry. Once unusual, impeachment has become a constitutional check on the executive and a political tool in the U.S.

This session of Congress, House Republicans have prioritized impeachments, censures, and other rebukes of officials and politicians, creating a new precedent that worries scholars and others about how they might punish perceived breaches. Experts say Mayorkas is embroiled in a policy fight with Republicans who oppose the Biden administration's border strategy.

According to constitutional law scholar Jonathan Turley, impeachment is not for being “a bad Cabinet member.” Alan Dershowitz commented, “Whatever else Mayorkas may or may not have done, he has not committed bribery, treason, or high crimes and misdemeanors.”

The panel's witness, Princeton Program on Law and Public Policy director Deborah Pearlstein, stated, “This impeachment is exactly what impeachment was never supposed to be for,” in an interview.

President Trump was impeached twice: first for corruption in 2019 after his phone contact with the Ukrainian president to dig up then-rival Biden, and secondly for instigating the Capitol rebellion on Jan. 6, 2021. He escaped both Senate impeachments. Belknap, impeached for government contract kickbacks, was acquitted in the Senate.