Rep. Tom McClintock of California announced his decision to vote against a resolution to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. This shift in position puts the GOP’s plans in jeopardy, as McClintock becomes the second Republican to diverge from the party on this matter.
In a 10-page memo, McClintock offered criticism of Mayorkas but stated that the party had failed to identify an impeachable crime. He argued that his colleagues had not been able to demonstrate any high crime or misdemeanor as required by the Constitution.
With House Majority Leader Steve Scalise absent due to cancer treatment, Republicans can only afford to lose two votes assuming full attendance. This leaves no room for GOP defections if all other members are present, potentially complicating the impeachment resolution’s passage.
The resolution accuses Mayorkas of violating immigration laws, particularly by failing to detain a sufficient number of migrants, as well as a “breach of public trust.” However, it has faced criticism as a novel approach to impeachment. Congressman Ken Buck of Colorado has also announced his intent to vote against the resolution, similarly arguing that the constitutional standards have not been met.
McClintock echoed earlier Republican arguments, placing blame on President Biden for the chaos at the border and asserting that a cabinet secretary’s job is to carry out the will of the president. He pointed to conservative legal scholars, including Trump impeachment lawyer Alan Dershowitz, who have condemned the House GOP’s move, accusing them of misusing impeachment authority.
In his memo, McClintock delved into the constitutional history and uses of impeachment, calling for lawmakers to carefully consider the implications of their actions before improperly expanding this power. He expressed skepticism about the resolution’s future, doubting that Mayorkas would ever be removed and predicting a potential bipartisan repudiation of what he considers a misuse of power.