WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Monday will denounce the charge to impeach Homeland Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas as an “unprecedented and unconstitutional” political attack that betrays the real challenge of securing the southern U.S. border, according to a statement of administration policy shared first with NBC News.
Biden’s statement will be his most forceful condemnation of the Republican-controlled House’s push to bring the Mayorkas impeachment to the floor.
The House will vote Tuesday on the impeachment resolution, according to a GOP leadership aide. The House Rules Committee is expected to meet Monday afternoon to advance the measure.
“From his time in the Justice Department as a U.S. Attorney to his service as Deputy Secretary and now Secretary of Homeland Security, he has upheld the rule of law faithfully and has demonstrated a deep commitment to the values that make our Nation great,” Biden will say. “Impeaching Secretary Mayorkas would be an unprecedented and unconstitutional act of political retribution that would do nothing to solve the challenges our Nation faces in securing the border.”
Republicans argue that impeachment hearings, which the House Homeland Security Committee launched last month, are needed due to record high illegal border crossings and drug trafficking across the southern U.S. border under Mayorkas, whom Biden appointed in 2021. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., tried twice last year to force an impeachment vote against Mayorkas.
In a format usually reserved to announce when the president will veto a particular bill, Biden will counter that House Republicans are abusing Congress’s authority to target a Cabinet-level official for reasons beyond the scope of their authority.
“The impeachment power was never intended as a device for members of an opposing political party to harass Executive Branch officials over policy disputes,” Biden states. “Impeaching Secretary Mayorkas would trivialize this solemn constitutional power and invite more partisan abuse of this authority in the future.”
Slamming the impeachment case as “baseless,” Biden says his administration will continue to work with Congress to find solutions to secure the border and strengthen an immigration system burdened by a record-high number of crossings. Hard-line Republicans have balked at a newly unveiled border bill, prompting pushback from some colleagues eager to pass legislation to address the crisis.
Some Republicans have countered that Mayorkas’s record does not meet the threshold for treason or high crimes and misdemeanors, which impeachment, as described by the framers, demands. Mayokras would be only the second Cabinet secretary in U.S. history to be impeached.
The White House earlier advanced an argument against impeachment on constitutional grounds in a memo slamming Republicans for playing “extreme, far-right politics” that likened the push to remove Mayorkas to efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election and impeach Biden.
This article was originally published on NBCNews.com