Arizona crowd cheers for impeachment of Biden official
House Republicans have been floating the potential impeachment of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over his handling of the southern border crisis for some time, and during a Judiciary Committee hearing held in Yuma, Arizona Thursday, the prospect drew boisterous cheers from local residents, as the New York Post reports.
The enthusiastic reaction came after remarks from Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz (FL-01), who called Mayorkas' honesty into question and reiterated his support for articles of impeachment that have already been introduced against the secretary.
Field hearing held
The scene unfolded during a field hearing held by the Judiciary panel to discuss the impact in Yuma of Mayorkas' alleged inaction on, among other things, closing gaps the the border wall between the United States and Mexico.
During the proceedings, Yuma County Board of Supervisors member Jonathan Lines testified that Mayorkas made false representations to him that actions would be taken to address openings in the wall that are known to be entry points for drug smugglers and human traffickers.
Gaetz asked Lines, “Has Secretary Mayorkas ever lied to you?” Lines replied simply, “Yes,” eliciting chuckles from those assembled in the hearing room.
“What was the substance of that lie?” inquired Gaetz, to which Lines replied that Mayorkas said during a meeting with himself and the Yuma [Border Patrol] sector chief that he was committing to specifically addressing “nine of the 11 Yuma gaps,” further testifying that to date, no such action has been taken.
“A lack of will”
In response to those answers, Gaetz made it clear that he had heard enough and that the man leading Biden's DHS will be held accountable.
“The day will come soon when Secretary Mayorkas has to come and answer our questions. And to my colleagues, if he'll lie to Mr. Lines and lie to the community here, then he will lie to us and he will lie to the American people,” Gaetz said.
The congressman continued, “And that's why I'm very proud to co-sponsor Representative [Andy] Biggs' articles of impeachment against Secretary Mayorkas, because this is not a lack of ability, it's a lack of will,” drawing cheers of approval from the crowd. WATCH:
WATCH: Residents of Yuma, Arizona ERUPT IN CHEERS at @JudiciaryGOP hearing for the impeachment of DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) February 24, 2023
Democrats boycott proceedings
As the Washington Examiner noted, Judiciary Committee Democrats previously announced plans to boycott the hearing in Arizona, claiming that they had not been properly or timely informed of the event.
However, as the outlet noted, video footage from committee proceedings on Feb. 1 reveals that Republican panel chair Jim Jordan (OH-04) announced the planned trip clearly and in detail with regard to its purpose and the dates on which it would occur.
Some panel Democrats blasted the idea of traveling to Arizona as little more than “political theater,” that was “performative” in nature.
Republicans, for their part, opined that the real reason for the Democrats' refusal to appear was fear of facing “the harsh realities” of what is happening along the southern border.
Unsurprisingly, Jordan did not hold back in assessing his liberal colleagues' absences, saying, “It's a shame that not one Democrat member of Congress would join us on this trip, despite having weeks of advance notice. It's disappointing, but it's not surprising.”
Answering Democrats' claims that the hearing was nothing more than a “stunt,” Jordan said, “I would argue it's not a stunt. My guess is our witnesses wouldn't call it a stunt. What we've learned today from them, what we've seen last night on the border.”
Supporting that hypothesis was hearing attendee Malba Alvarez, who complained to the Post that Mayorkas “hasn't even been present to see in reality what the gaps are,” adding that “he needs to become better informed.”
Retiree Donna Angel, another supporter of a possible impeachment, said of Mayorkas, “We have a problem here and he says we don't,” something so many others in the crowd would likely argue has been the attitude of the entire Biden administration – including the president – since day one.