GOP Rep. Tom McClintock (Calif.) said Monday he would once again vote against impeaching Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas after most in his party attempted to do so last week.
“Well, the Constitution hasn’t changed since last week, so my vote is not going to change,” McClintock said in an interview on NewsNation’s “The Hill.” “These are the same reasons I vigorously oppose the sham impeachments of Donald Trump.”
“It dumbs down the standard for impeachment and assures it’s going to become a constant fixture in our national life whenever the White House is held by one party and in the Congress by the other,” he continued.
The House is slated to try to impeach Mayorkas once more on Tuesday upon the return of Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.), who was absent last week for cancer treatment when the body attempted to push through the landmark effort. Republican leaders — egged on by the party’s far-right faction — have accused Mayorkas of failing in his duty to secure the southern border with Mexico and had been threatening to impeach him for months.
Democrats have blasted the effort as a stunt meant to help former President Donald Trump’s bid for another term in the White House, saying there is no evidence that Mayorkas has committed any crimes even resembling the bar necessary to remove him.
McClintock was one of three Republicans to vote against the impeachment in a dramatic political episode last week, joining Rep. Ken Buck (Colo.) and Mike Gallagher (Wisc.) and handing House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) an embarrassing defeat. The lawmaker said he had spoken to Johnson about his decision, adding the speaker did not put any pressure on him to change his vote.
McClintock added that he believed Mayorkas had failed in his role and was guilty of “maladministration on a cosmic scale.”
“But that’s not grounds for impeachment,” the lawmaker said. “We know that. The founders specifically considered it and rejected it. Instead, they chose the very narrow grounds of high crimes and misdemeanors. Actual crimes using the office.”
“They didn’t want policy and political disputes to be turned into impeachments.”