Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) on Wednesday defended his decision to vote against the impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas after helping sink the move the night before.
Fellow Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.), a leading proponent of Mayorkas’s impeachment, had said McClintock is “clearly” not paying attention to what the American people want. Greene said he is failing his oath of office and urged him to “grow some courage and read the room.”
“Well, instead of reading the room, I’d suggest that maybe she read the Constitution she took an oath to support and defend,” McClintock said on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal.”
“That Constitution very clearly lays out the grounds for impeachment. This dumbs down those grounds dramatically and would set a precedent that could be turned against the conservatives on the Supreme Court or a future Republican administration the moment the Democrats take control of the Congress,” he continued.
McClintock published a 10-page memo Tuesday that offered criticism of Mayorkas, who has become the face of the Biden administration’s handling of immigration at the southern border. In the memo, he said the Republican Party had failed to identify an impeachable crime.
“Clearly the founders worried that the power of impeachment could be used to settle political disputes and so searched for limiting language to avoid such abuse,” he wrote.
In a stunning vote Tuesday evening, the effort to impeach Mayorkas failed 214-216. McClintock was joined by GOP Reps. Ken Buck (Colo.) and Mike Gallagher (Wis.) in siding with all Democrats to block the move.
A fourth Republican, Rep. Blake Moore (Utah), flipped his vote to “no” seconds before the vote closed as a procedural move that allows the party to bring the legislation back at a later date.
Mia Ehrenberg, a Department of Homeland Security spokesperson, said in a statement: “This baseless impeachment should never have moved forward; it faces bipartisan opposition and legal experts resoundingly say it is unconstitutional.”
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