The House Homeland Security Committee will mark up articles of impeachment to remove Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas from office Tuesday, teeing up a historic vote to topple a Cabinet member for the first time since the 1870s.

In forwarding the resolution, the GOP will be acting on calls that ignited as soon as Republicans took the House and that have lingered amid intraparty disputes about which Biden official to focus on.

“Our thorough and fair investigation exposed Secretary Mayorkas’ abuse of power and refusal to comply with the law. In November, 201 Democrats voted to refer articles of impeachment against the secretary to our Committee and, having completed impeachment hearings earlier this month, we plan to mark up those articles next week,” committee Chair Mark Green (R-Tenn.) said in a statement.

“This Committee has conducted extensive oversight and passed historic legislation to secure the border. However, the final remedy for dealing directly with Secretary Mayorkas’ willful and systemic disregard for the rule of law is impeachment. After three years of this crisis and a year of investigations and proceedings, we must move forward with accountability.”

The Tuesday vote comes after just two hearings on Mayorkas’s impeachment, including one last week the secretary was unable to testify at given prior commitments; he had been invited just two weeks ahead of time.

It is almost certain to get little traction in the Democratic-led Senate, where it takes a two-thirds vote to back his removal.

Meanwhile, Mayorkas is in the midst of negotiations with the Senate over an immigration proposal that would include many GOP priorities.

“Instead of working in a bipartisan way to fix our broken immigration laws, the House Majority is wasting time on baseless and pointless political attacks by trying to impeach Secretary Mayorkas,” the Department of Homeland Security wrote in a memo earlier this month. “This unprecedented process, led by extremists, is harmful to the Department and its workforce and undercuts vital work across countless national security priorities.”

The announcement does not include the text of the articles of impeachment but said Mayorkas will be removed for “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

That’s a point that has been disputed by both conservative commentators and legal scholars.

GOP leaders have argued Mayorkas is defying immigration laws, failing to detain and deport as many migrants as they would like. They’ve also accused him of abusing parole authority that allows those who might not meet immigration requirements to temporarily enter the country — something they say flouts its intended use on a case-by-case basis. And they have also said he’s violated the Secure Fence Act, which defines the border as operationally controlled only if not a single person or piece of contraband illegally enters the country – a standard of perfection that has never been met. 

GOP leaders have similarly argued Mayorkas has violated his oath of office and is derelict in his duty, borrowing a military term

Those arguments have received a harsh review, even within conservative circles, with George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley writing in an op-ed that the committee was seeking to remove Mayorkas over a “disagreement on policy.”

“He can be legitimately accused of effectuating an open border policy, but that is a disagreement on policy that is traced to the President,” wrote Turley, who served as a GOP-invited witness in a hearing to consider an impeachment of President Biden.

“In my view, Biden has been dead wrong on immigration, but voters will soon have an opportunity to render a judgment on those policies in the election. Mayorkas has carried out those policies. What has not been shown is conduct by the secretary that could be viewed as criminal or impeachable.”

A bipartisan group of legal scholars also found evidence for impeachment lacking.

Republican witnesses in their two hearings included a trio of state attorneys general who have sued the department, arguing mismanagement of the border has impacted their states.

A hearing last week included two mothers who lost children, one to a fentanyl-related overdose and the other whose child was killed by an alleged MS-13 gang member.

Mayorkas’s impeachment would be the second ever for a Cabinet official, the first targeting the secretary of War under the Grant administration for taking kickbacks. William Belknap was acquitted by the Senate after it failed to meet the two-thirds threshold; he resigned ahead of the trial. 

Tuesday’s markup comes after a several-month investigation by the committee, kicking off a five-phase review in June.

But the public hearings portion of the committee’s work has been swift, with Green saying in late December the panel would hold “three or four hearings” in January before weighing impeachment articles that had already been drafted.

A GOP memo reported earlier by The Hill detailed that Jan. 10, the same day his committee kicked off impeachment hearings, Green was set to alert staff it would mark up the impeachment resolution Jan. 31.

Wednesday’s announcement bumps that a day ahead.

Read the full article here.

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