Mayorkas Impeached

On February 13, 2024,  Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas (he/him), was impeached by the United States House of Representatives. Mayorkas is being impeached for a “breach of public trust” and “willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law” by House Republicans, led by Speaker Mike Johnson (he/him, LA-04). The vote was 214-213. Mayorkas is the first cabinet member since 1876 impeached since William Belknap, who at the time was the secretary of war, got impeached on March 2nd. Mayorkas is the twenty-first person overall ever impeached at the Federal level. Fourteen of those impeached were federal judges. Only eight people have ever been convicted, all of them judges. 

Mayorkas’ impeachment is the third one to move to the Senate since former president, Donald Trump (he/him, R), was first impeached on December 18th, 2019. Trump was impeached again on January 13th, 2021. However, the impeachment of Mayorkas does not mean he has been removed from office. To remove someone from office, the House must vote on the Articles of Impeachment in a majority- which has currently been done- to move it to the Senate, where two-thirds of the Senate is required to convict the person. The last person to be convicted was Louisiana judge Thomas Porteous in 2010.

Democrats have not reacted well to this, while many Republicans feel this is a step in the right direction. However, some Republicans, including former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, have said the Republicans should work with Mayorkas instead of impeaching him. Three Republicans voted against the measure, Tom McClintock (he/him, CA-05), Ken Buck (he/him, CO-04), and Mike Gallagher (he/him, WI-08). McClintock released a ten-page memo saying that Mayorkas did not commit “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Gallagher felt similarly, saying that Mayorkas is doing a bad job, but did not commit any crimes.

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