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GOP witness in Biden probe says Mayorkas conduct not impeachable

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Jonathan Turley, a conservative commentator and legal scholar, argued the GOP does not have sufficient evidence for impeaching Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, undercutting the effort the day before Republicans are set to kick off a series of hearings to remove him from office.

Turley’s comments, via an op-ed in The Daily Beast, cast Republicans’ impeachment plans as based on a “disagreement on policy” that is lacking the sufficient evidence to boot Mayorkas from office.

“There is also no current evidence that he is corrupt or committed an impeachable offense,” Turley wrote, nodding to the one Cabinet secretary impeached in the 1870s after being accused of taking kickbacks.

“He can be legitimately accused of effectuating an open border policy, but that is a disagreement on policy that is traced to the President,” Turley added.

“In my view, Biden has been dead wrong on immigration, but voters will soon have an opportunity to render a judgment on those policies in the election. Mayorkas has carried out those policies. What has not been shown is conduct by the secretary that could be viewed as criminal or impeachable.”

Like with the president, Cabinet secretaries can be impeached only for high crimes and misdemeanors.

The comments from Turley, a regular GOP witness on congressional proceedings, come after he similarly cast doubt on the investigation into President Biden’s family, telling lawmakers he did not see sufficient evidence at the time of the September hearing to back an impeachment vote. 

“I do not believe that the current evidence would support articles of impeachment that is something that an inquiry has to establish,” he said. “But I also believe that the House has passed the threshold for an impeachment inquiry into the conduct of President Biden.”

At another point during that hearing he said some of the details they’d gathered “really do gravitate in favor of the president.”

While some Republicans such as House Homeland Security Chair Mark Green (R-Tenn.) have claimed Mayorkas is derelict in his duty to manage the border, it’s not clear that is an impeachable offense or even a legal term outside its use in the military. 

Republicans have also claimed Mayorkas has violated the law, failing to meet the standards of the Secure Fence Act, which defines operational control of the border as a status in which not a single person or piece of contraband improperly enters the country. 

Turley wrote Tuesday that while Republicans might be upset over how Mayorkas is enforcing the law, officials have wide discretion over how to carry out federal laws, including who should be designated for removal under immigration law.

“The courts have long recognized that presidents are allowed to establish priorities in the enforcement of federal laws, even when those priorities tend to lower enforcement for certain groups or areas. It is a matter of discretion,” Turley wrote.

“Absent some new evidence, I cannot see the limiting principle that would allow the House to impeach Mayorkas without potentially making any policy disagreement with a cabinet member a high crime and misdemeanor. That is a slippery slope that we would be wise to avoid. Indeed, it is precisely the temptation that the Framers thought they had avoided by rejecting standards like maladministration,” he added.


Source: The Hill

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