When U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Rome, started calling last year for the impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, many Republicans in Congress rolled their eyes.
One said Greene didn’t have ‘the maturity and the experience’ to properly push for the impeachment of Mayorkas. Others chafed at her attacks against those who wouldn’t join up.
But now Greene is on the verge of an I-told-you-so moment.
“Impeaching Mayorkas is not about policy differences,” Greene declared as a House panel approved two articles of impeachment. “It’s about Mayorkas’s willful intent to break our federal immigration laws.”
For Greene, this fight has come full circle – both politically and personally.
Last April, in the very same hearing room, Greene had tangled with Mayorkas over the border – at one point calling him a ‘liar.’
That led to a parliamentary reprimand which blocked her from speaking for the rest of the hearing.
While Greene fumed over the rebuke from a GOP committee chairman, Democrats were delighted.
“She is totally out of control,” said House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries.
Nine months later, everything has changed.
Instead of being silenced, Greene was front and center for the GOP as the committee debate on Mayorkas stretched into the night. It was clear that the Georgia Republican relished the chance to slug it out with Democrats who ridiculed her push for impeachment.
“You can’t lie about the numbers,” Greene snapped at one point.
When it comes to the border, the numbers don’t lie. There has been a large surge in migrants coming into the U.S., over 300,000 just in December. It was about 75,000 per month when Biden took office in 2021.
But does that really merit impeachment in Congress — a grave political process?
The only other time a Cabinet member was impeached — in 1876 — was for corruption. This time, there is nothing like that.
“Whatever else Mayorkas may or may not have done, he has not committed bribery, treason, or high crimes and misdemeanors,” wrote retired Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz.
Greene and others counter that Mayorkas has not enforced existing laws — and say that is more than enough to trigger his ouster.
“Secretary Mayorkas has willfully and consistently refused to comply with federal immigration laws,” said U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson.
Democrats labeled this an election-year stunt, coming as House Republicans have frowned at Senate talks on a bipartisan border security deal.
“They’re not representing the American people,” said U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., “They’re taking orders from Donald Trump.”
From Greene’s point of view, there’s nothing wrong with that.
Jamie Dupree has covered national politics and Congress from Washington, D.C. since the Reagan administration. His column appears weekly in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. For more, check out his Capitol Hill newsletter at http://jamiedupree.substack.com