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House Homeland GOP calls for Mayorkas written testimony; DHS slams ‘bad-faith’ impeachment push


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Republicans on the House Homeland Security Committee are seeking written testimony from DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas amid a lengthy back-and-forth with the agency over him potentially testifying at an impeachment hearing -- as DHS is blasting what it says is a "bad-faith, predetermined and unconstitutional rush" to impeach him.

Chairman Mark Green sent a letter to Mayorkas offering him the opportunity to submit written testimony ahead of the second impeachment hearing on Thursday -- which will focus on the victims of illegal immigrant crime.

"As stated in earlier letters to you, your perspective on the crisis at the border and actions you have taken as secretary are valuable for the Members of the Committee and the American public to hear. Regretfully, every invitation for almost half a year we extended to you to testify focused specifically on the border crisis has been rejected or subject to endless delay tactics," Green said, requesting written testimony instead.

REPUBLICANS, DEMS SPAR AT MAYORKAS IMPEACHMENT HEARING AS STATE AGS DESCRIBE IMPACT OF MIGRANT CRISIS

Republicans, who held the first hearing earlier this month, have accused Mayorkas of a "dereliction of duty" and a "willful violation of his oath" in his handling of the crisis at the southern border, where there have been record levels of migrant encounters. They have said that the expansion of "catch-and-release" and the rollback of Trump-era policies have fueled a historic crisis with devastating effects on the country.

The administration says it is dealing with a hemisphere-wide crisis and needs more funding and reform from Congress. It has pointed to more than a million returns of migrants in FY 2022 and FY 2023 and a record seizure of fentanyl by officials at the border.

Green’s office had invited Mayorkas to testify in person at the hearing earlier this month. DHS replied, saying he could not testify at the hearing on Thursday due to other commitments including hosting a Mexican delegation, but was open to testifying at a future date and said it would work to find a date and hearing structure with committee members.

Republicans painted that response as a refusal to testify, arguing that they have been trying to get Mayorkas to testify at a border-specific hearing since August. DHS has fiercely denied that the letter counted as a refusal to testify and said that Mayorkas has testified 27 times in 35 months, more than any other Cabinet member, including at a Worldwide Threats hearing before the committee in November. DHS says that Republicans did not provide any alternate dates or options to DHS, nor did they respond to attempts to identify a date. 

Spokesperson Mia Ehrenberg tore into what she said was the "latest example of Committee Republicans’ sham process."

"It’s abundantly clear that they are not interested in hearing from Secretary Mayorkas since it doesn’t fit into their bad-faith, predetermined and unconstitutional rush to impeach him. Last week, the Secretary offered to testify publicly before the Committee; in the time since, the Committee failed to respond to DHS to find a mutually agreeable date," she said.

"Instead, they provided this offer of written testimony to the media before any outreach to the Department. CHS Republicans have yet again demonstrated their preference for playing politics rather than work together to address the serious issues at the border," she said.

Homeland Republicans, in turn, said that Mayorkas has now "tacitly refused" three times despite what they say is flexibility.

HOUSE HOMELAND DEMOCRATS BACK MAYORKAS, SLAM GOP ‘SHAM’ AHEAD OF IMPEACHMENT HEARING 

"Secretary Mayorkas can object all he wants, but the paper trail is clear--he has consistently, tacitly refused to show up," the majority said on X, formerly known as Twitter after accusing Mayorkas of "indefinite delays."

Democrats on the Committee backed the administration and called the impeachment push "just another political stunt."

"They refused to accept his offer to testify at a later date because it doesn't fit with their arbitrary, rushed timeline dictated by extreme MAGA Republicans Illegitimate impeachment," they said, calling the impeachment illegitimate.

Meanwhile, Fox confirmed that the hearing will be the last hearing and the next step will be for the committee to schedule a markup of the impeachment articles.

Fox News' Kelly Phares contributed to this report.

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