An internal Republican memo shows the House Homeland Security Committee decided last week it would mark up an impeachment resolution for Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas at the end of the month.
The memo, obtained by The Hill, came the same day the committee kicked off its series of impeachment hearings — and amid complaints from Democrats the proceedings have been rushed to back a predetermined conclusion.
It appears to show Republicans have committed to a timeline with little flexibility to accommodate additional promised hearings or testimony from Mayorkas himself.
The plans outlined in the memo — which Republicans shared inadvertently — track with a pledge by Chair Mark Green (R-Tenn.) to swiftly consider a resolution to boot Mayorkas from his job.
But asked about its contents, Green said he was not putting any timeline out and that he would not “corroborate a memo.”
“I’m not confirming or denying any dates or times,” Green told The Hill.
His colleague on the panel, however, backed the timeline of the memo. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) told reporters he expected the articles of impeachment to drop Jan. 31.
The memo appears to be a document to prepare Green for a Jan. 11 meeting, prompting him to remind other GOP committee members about a Jan. 18 meeting to “strategize for the impeachment articles.”
“We have scheduled the markup for impeachment articles at 10:00 AM ET on Wednesday, January 31, 2024,” the memo says under a section labeled as “announcements.”
The memo comes amid a broader battle over whether Mayorkas — who has said he is willing to appear before the panel — will get chance to testify in the hearings.
In late December, Green told Fox News the committee would hold “three or four hearings … and then we will do a proceeding in January.” But Thursday’s hearing, the second in the series, could be its last.
The House is still set to take a weeklong recess next week, returning in the final days of January and leaving just one day for any other committee activity ahead of a mark up.
Green had asked Mayorkas two weeks in advance to appear at Thursday’s hearing, but the secretary had a scheduling conflict while hosting a delegation from Mexico to discuss border issues, asking to instead find another date.
The memo was drafted the day before the panel heard from Mayorkas that he would be unable to meet Jan. 18.
Green earlier Wednesday fired off a letter saying that if Mayorkas could not make the following day’s hearing, he could submit written testimony instead.
Rep. Bennie Thompson (Miss.), the top Democrat on the panel, said the little lead time in scheduling the hearing with Mayorkas was a contrast with usual efforts to schedule Cabinet officials months in advance.
“You notified the guy last week, who, you know, has the third-largest agency in government that ‘We want you to testify next week. Oh, and by the way, we want you to be on the second panel,’” Thompson said.
The committee still plans to hear from a sheriff and parents who lost children to gang violence and fentanyl.
Green has pointed to previous invitations in August and September for Mayorkas to testify that were not accepted, though the secretary has appeared before the panel twice in the last year.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said the disagreement over setting a date amounted to a “rush to impeach” on Green’s part.
“This is just 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,” DHS spokesperson Mia Ehrenberg said in a statement.
“Instead, they provided this offer of written testimony to the media before any outreach to the Department. [Homeland Security Committee] Republicans have yet again demonstrated their preference for playing politics rather than work together to address the serious issues at the border.”
Green wouldn’t tell The Hill on Wednesday whether he would shift the schedule to accommodate Mayorkas.
“I said this all along, but I would change my timeline if a reason to do so came up,” he said.
“Mayorkas’s passive-aggressiveness about trying to schedule us is a smokescreen. That’s all it is. And we’re just not going to play that game. We’ve been after him to come since August. And he keeps saying no,” Green said.
“So we’re not playing the game anymore.”