DHS Hires Private Law Firm Ahead of Possible Impeachment of Secretary Mayorkas

The Department of Homeland Security has enlisted the help of a private law firm to protect Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas from potential impeachment proceedings. Republican lawmakers have been building a case against Mayorkas for dereliction of duty, citing loss of operational control over the border.

According to a report by CBS, the Biden Administration is taking the potential impeachment of its DHS secretary as a serious threat. A spokesman for DHS confirmed that they are retaining private counsel.

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“The Department of Homeland Security has retained outside counsel to help ensure the Department’s vital mission is not interrupted by the unprecedented, unjustified, and partisan impeachment efforts by some Members of Congress, who have already taken steps to initiate proceedings,” a Homeland Security spokesperson said on Friday.

“DHS will continue prioritizing its work to protect our country from terrorism, respond to natural disasters, and secure our borders while responding appropriately to the over 70 Congressional committees and subcommittees that have oversight of DHS.”

DHS is reportedly retaining the services of the law firm Debevoise & Plimpton. The department told CBS that they had contracted the firm for the duration of the Republican congressional inquiry regarding Mayorkas. The firm was reportedly chosen for its expertise in impeachment and its long bipartisan working experience with Congressional oversight matters.

Secretary Mayorkas has not commented on the latest development but told reporters last Thursday regarding the congressional inquiry, “We will cooperate with this Congress, just as we did with the last Congress. I think that’s our responsibility.”

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Mayorkas is under heavy fire from Republicans for what is being characterized as a deliberate failure to control the nation’s Southern border. Since Joe Biden took office, U.S. law enforcement officials have encountered or processed over 6 million migrants. The Federation for American Immigration Reform estimates that over 1.17 million were allowed to immigrate illegally.

Mayorkas has advocated for ending Title 42, a Trump-era border directive that allows border patrol to block and swiftly expel illegal migrants on grounds relating to public health. He also declared that his department would not move to deport illegal immigrants with jobs. Despite this, the Secretary has repeatedly claimed that the border is secure.

The House Oversight and House Judiciary Committees have held hearings under the new congress addressing the border crisis. During a February hearing, House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan, R-OH, remarked,

“These numbers make clear that the Biden administration does not have operational control of the border… Month after month after month, we have set records for migrants coming into the country, and frankly, I think it’s intentional.”

House Oversight Chair James Comer, R-KY, stated ahead of last week’s committee hearing,

“Starting on day one in office, President Biden and his administration rolled back deterrent focused policies, halted the construction of the border wall, gutted interior enforcement, pushed amnesty for illegal immigrants – all of which have made it difficult for US Border Patrol agents to secure the border.”

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The impeachment of a cabinet member would be highly unprecedented. Only one cabinet member has ever been impeached in U.S. history, Secretary of War William Belknap, in 1876. Belknap was accused of accepting bribes while serving the Grant administration but was acquitted by the Senate.

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