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Alejandro Mayorkas

Who to watch in Mayorkas impeachment hearing

The Homeland Security Committee will officially launch today what’s expected to be a quick impeachment proceeding into DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. In reality, Republicans have been building toward this moment for months.

The panel will hold its first impeachment hearing at 10 a.m. Three GOP state attorneys general who have been critical of the Biden administration’s border policies will testify. We have more about the hearing’s witnesses here.

Meanwhile, the White House has been holding direct calls between senior staff and Mayorkas on the political strategy to combat the impeachment effort.

A list of talking points, obtained by Punchbowl News, is being circulated to television hosts, Hill Democrats and outside liberal groups. And DHS put out a memo this morning referring to the impeachment as “baseless.”

We’ll note that it’s very unusual — but not unprecedented — for any impeachment case not to be run through the Judiciary Committee. But that panel is busy with its own impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, so Republicans are using the Homeland Security panel instead.

Here’s who to watch today:

Chair Mark Green (R-Tenn.): Green will lead the debate, painting Mayorkas as a lawless tyrant who has purposefully encouraged open borders.

Green has been under pressure from fellow House conservatives, who felt he was moving too slow on his investigation into Mayorkas. Green spent a year probing what he said was Mayorkas’ dereliction of duty overseeing the border. His five-phase investigation wrapped in December.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.): Greene has been one of the Mayorkas’ loudest critics and biggest foes. Greene filed a privileged resolution to impeach Mayorkas back in November, which was referred back to the Homeland Security panel. Greene was assured by Speaker Mike Johnson that Republicans would move ahead with impeaching Mayorkas.

Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-Texas): Gonzales, who isn’t always aligned with his party on the border, has been fully supportive of the Mayorkas’ impeachment push. Gonzales helped whip votes for Greene’s resolution to impeach Mayorkas and has been a confidant to the Georgia Republican. Gonzales’ district lies on the border and includes Eagle Pass.

Ranking Member Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.): Thompson has consistently called Green’s investigation a farce. The committee’s top Democrat accused Green of pre-planning an impeachment effort into Mayorkas long before the probe was wrapped up. Most, if not all, Democrats share Thompson’s view.

Reps. Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.), Lou Correa (D-Calif.) and Glenn Ivey (D-Md.): These three Democrats are all lawyers and have experience in impeachment cases and congressional investigations. Goldman was the lead counsel in the first impeachment of former President Donald Trump. Ivey goes back to the Whitewater investigation as a Senate aide. Correa served in the Judiciary Committee for Trump’s impeachment.

Their take — there’s no “there” there. While not downplaying the problems at the southern border or U.S. immigration policy, these Democrats say there’s no “high crime or misdemeanor” that would warrant Mayorkas’ removal.

Mica Soellner and John Bresnahan

Presented by AARP

AARP knows older voters. 

We’ve made it our business to know what matters to people 50 and over—like we know that protecting Social Security and supporting family caregivers are among their top priorities. Learn more from our polling in Pennsylvania.

Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. Political ads courtesy of AdImpact.