Turley Explains Why He Thinks Republicans Won’t Be Able To Impeach Mayorkas

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Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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Fox News legal analyst and George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley threw cold water on Monday on the possibility of impeaching Department of Homeland Security Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas.

House Republicans released a proposal including two impeachment articles, one accusing Mayorkas of violating immigration laws, the other accusing him of breaching “public trust.”

Turley, however, argued Republicans have not yet established any legitimate basis for impeachment. The Constitution allows for impeachment for high crimes, misdemeanors, treason and bribery.

“The fact is, impeachment is not for being a bad cabinet member or even being a bad person. It is a very narrow standard,” Turley explained. “The framers rejected terms like maladministration to make sure that we confine this. And it’s important to remember that we’ve only impeached one cabinet member in history and that was viewed as a fairly abusive use of impeachment, It was an impeachment after that person left office. But past congresses have recognized that there is a danger to this. Once you cross the Rubicon and start to remove cabinet members because they are not doing a good job. And Mayorkas is clearly not doing a good job.”

“But, it’s the job that President Biden apparently likes. He’s complimented Mayorkas, he’s carrying out Joe Biden’s policies. And those policies have brought us to where we are today, which is a national security crisis. And I agree entirely with Republicans on all those points. But I don’t agree is the means being used here,” Turley continued.

Turley then argued that “we have an open border. This is a huge crisis” but that this “is a policy judgment made by the president. The courts have courts have said presidents can give priority in the enforcement of federal laws and this is not the first president who has been challenged over lack of enforcement at the border.”

“Donald Trump came in, he looked at the law, and it’s the same law that Joe Biden is operating under and he figured a way to do what he wanted. And then Joe Biden comes in and his business model is to do what he is doing right now. It’s the same law at the heart of it and if people don’t like it, ultimately, you got to change the law,” co-host Steve Doocy said.

“Mayorkas is someone who is carrying out precisely what the president has laid out as policies,” Turley replied. “The president has repeatedly said that he likes what Mayorkas is doing or not doing. Now, most Americans do not. But the president himself sets these policies and that’s what elections are all about.” (RELATED: Here’s What Biden’s White House Is Conveniently Leaving Out In Its Newest Border Security Narrative)

The first article of impeachment relates to the record levels of illegal immigration, with the House Homeland Security Committee arguing that Mayorkas played a large role through his issuing of a September 2021 memo in which he directed his agency to limit immigration enforcement. The memo said that just because an individual is a “removable noncitizen” is not enough “basis of an enforcement action against them.”

The second article claims Mayorkas lied to Congress when he said the southern border is “secure,” “closed” and “no less secure than it was previously.” The committee also referenced Mayorkas’ statements supporting a false narrative that Border Patrol agents whipped illegal migrants.

Border Patrol encountered 2.2 million migrants crossing the southern border in fiscal year 2022 and more than 2 million in fiscal year 2023. There were more than 629,000 illegal encounters at the southern border between October and December alone.