Battle escalates over second Mayorkas impeachment hearing
House Republicans are asking for written testimony from Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for Thursday's impeachment hearing, after the secretary offered to appear on a different date.
Why it matters: The Homeland Security Committee is plowing ahead on what would be an historic impeachment of a Cabinet official as soon as this month — as the party seeks to keep the border issue front and center in 2024.
Driving the news: Committee Chair Mark Green (R-Tenn.) is moving forward with the second impeachment hearing scheduled Thursday, inviting Mayorkas to submit a written testimony if he can't testify, according to a letter sent to the agency on Wednesday.
- "Regretfully, every invitation for almost half a year we extended to you to testify focused specifically on the border crisis has been rejected or subject to endless delay tactics," Green wrote.
- House Republicans say this was the fourth invitation since August for Mayorkas to testify about the border.
- But the latest letter comes after Mayorkas agreed to make himself available to testify in front of the committee, asking to coordinate on a better time. He is hosting Mexican officials to discuss border policy this week.
- DHS claims Mayorkas has testified before Congress more than any other Cabinet official — 27 times — and has answered numerous border questions from the House Homeland Security committee.
- Punchbowl News first reported on the Wednesday letter.
Between the lines: The exchange is the latest example of Congressional investigators charging the Biden administration with not being forthcoming, and of agency officials accusing Congress of not acting in good faith.
- "This is just the latest example of Committee Republicans' sham process," DHS spokesperson Mia Ehrenberg said in a statement provided to Axios.
- "It's abundantly clear that they are not interested in hearing from Secretary Mayorkas since it doesn't fit into their bad-faith, predetermined and unconstitutional rush to impeach him," Ehrenberg continued.
What to watch: Republicans plan to focus their second impeachment hearing on the purported effects of the years-long surge in migration at the southern border.
- The panel is set to hear from law enforcement and people who lost family members to violent crime or drug overdoses.