Rep.Gallagher posted the following defense for his “no” vote on impeaching Secretary Mayorkas on X. Here’re the problems with his argument:
1) An unelected cabinet secretary is not the same as an elected president. How you treat one does not set a precedent for the other. It is perfectly acceptable to have a higher bar for an elected president than an unelected member of the government.
2) Impeachment is an inherently political action. It was intended to be so by the Founders, which is one of the reasons the language in the Constitution is broad and does not include specific prerequisites. Lawmakers are allowed to use their judment to decide if a government official is meeting the ethical standards we want our government to meet.
3) Specifically for Mayorkas, it is not just about him dutifully implementing Biden’s open border policies. Mayorkas has repeatedly, deliberately, and condescendingly lied under oath and obstructed Congress’ consitutionaly responsibility to provide oversight.
4) From a political lens, we all know that Mayorkas is never going to be convicted by a Democrat Senate. Impeachment is mostly symbolic, but symboilism is important. While Democrats are willing to use every political and legal lever available to them (and some that aren’t) to fight for their agenda, Republicans repeatedly fall short. Impeachment is a perfectly suitable and constitutional response to the Biden Administration and Mayorkas’ blatant disregard for the border enforcment laws dutifully passed into law by previous Congresses and Presidents. The fact that Gallagher isn’t willing to use that response is a failure on his part and confirms for many base Republicans that the Republican Party is in it to lose.