McCarthy calls for DHS Secretary Mayorkas’ resignation over border issue and warns of potential impeachment



CNN

Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday demanded the resignation of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and warned of potential impeachment if he does not resign, marking the Republican leader’s strongest comments on the matter yet as he struggles to lock down votes for his speakership. .

McCarthy, speaking from an event on the southern border, said that when Republicans take over the House in January, they will “investigate every order, every act and every mistake” to determine whether to launch an impeachment trial.

“Our country may never recover from Secretary Mayorkas’ dereliction of duty. That is why today I am calling on the secretary to resign,” he said. “If Secretary Mayorkas does not resign, Republicans will investigate every order, every action, every failure . And we will determine whether we can initiate impeachment proceedings.”

The Department of Homeland Security said in a statement that Mayorkas has no plans to resign and urged Congress to come up with legislative solutions to fix the nation’s broken immigration system. The agency continues to maintain that the border is secure, but has acknowledged that it is dealing with an unprecedented number of non-citizens seeking to enter the country and that changing demographics have added to the migration challenges they face.

“Secretary Mayorkas is proud to advance this department’s noble mission, support its extraordinary workforce, and serve the American people. He has no plans to step down,” a DHS spokeswoman said in a statement. “The department will continue our work to enforce our laws and secure our border while building a safe, orderly and humane immigration system. Members of Congress should come to the table and work on solutions to our broken system and outdated laws that have not been revised in over 40 years.”

While McCarthy and top Republicans have repeatedly promised to launch rigorous investigations into the problems at the southern border, McCarthy had — until this point — largely muted impeachment talks, saying they would not predetermine the outcome or use impeachment as a political weapon and would follow the facts , wherever they lead next year.

McCarthy’s shift in tone comes as he faces a rebellion from his right flank in the speaker’s race, with at least five House Republicans vowing to vote against him on the floor in January. One of the complaints about McCarthy from GOP hardliners is that he is not aggressive enough when it comes to investigations and impeachment.

The right flank has been agitating to indict Mayorkas in particular, although others in the party are skeptical that the secretary’s actions meet the threshold for high crimes and misdemeanors. An impeachment of an official has only happened once in US history.

McCarthy — who was nominated by his party last week to serve as speaker — made his comments about Mayorkas from El Paso, Texas, where he and a group of House Republicans met with Border Patrol agents and received an operational briefing earlier in the day.

“We spent the day with border agents,” McCarthy said at a news conference after their visit. “I asked each and every one that this border is safe. They laughed. They said it is not; it is one of the worst points in the history of this nation.”

When pressed on what potential crimes Republicans would investigate, McCarthy responded, “Lying to the American public, holding ICE back from doing their job, and not following through on what the laws on the books are today.”

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre responded to McCarthy’s planned visit to the US-Mexico border earlier Tuesday by asking what his plan is on immigration and accusing Republicans of having “no plan” and just “political stunts.” .

“The question that we have for Kevin McCarthy – soon to be Speaker McCarthy – what is his plan? What is he doing to help the situation that we see. What is his plan? He’s going down there and doing a political stunt that many Republicans are doing what we’ve seen them do, but he’s not actually laying out a plan,” Jean-Pierre said when asked about the White House’s response to McCarthy’s visit.

Republicans have already begun laying the groundwork for investigations related to the border next year. Top GOP lawmakers have requested a wide range of documents related to the Biden administration’s enforcement of immigration policies and have formally told the White House they may hold hearings and conduct transcribed interviews with Mayorkas and a number of other officials.

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