WASHINGTON ― Rep. Morgan Luttrell (R-Texas) advised Wednesday that Homeland Safety Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas needs to be impeached as a result of slavery exists on the earth and fentanyl is killing individuals ― a declare that regulation professor Frank Bowman, a witness on this Home listening to, needed to maintain informing the congressman made no sense.
Each had been contributors in a Home Homeland Safety Committee listening to targeted on impeaching Mayorkas. The listening to, which went on for practically 5 hours, was a political stunt: Republicans are wanting to make the migration disaster on the U.S.-Mexico border a serious legal responsibility for President Joe Biden within the 2024 elections. Mayorkas is their newest goal.
The issue with the GOP’s impeachment effort is that Mayorkas, a cupboard secretary charged with finishing up immigration legal guidelines, as damaged as they could be, has not been accused of any crimes. By no means thoughts the varieties of great “excessive crimes and misdemeanors” that meet the constitutional threshold for impeachment, like treason or bribery.
Nonetheless, the GOP’s rationale is that as a result of Mayorkas is overseeing Biden’s border insurance policies, he’s accountable for the egregious crimes that folks commit on the border and elsewhere, so he needs to be impeached.
Luttrell leaned arduous into that rationale on Wednesday, making an attempt to pin blame on the homeland safety secretary for crimes carried out by others.
“Are you able to give me the definition of a ‘excessive crime and misdemeanor?’” the Texas Republican requested Bowman, who’s a professor emeritus of regulation on the College of Missouri College of Legislation, and a former federal prosecutor.
Bowman mentioned there’s no single definition that may fulfill everybody, however that the late constitutional scholar, Charles Black, would outline it as “extraordinarily severe offenses in the way in which that severe crimes like treason and bribery are.”
Bowman was nonetheless speaking when Luttrell minimize him off.
“Extraordinarily severe,” repeated the Republican congressman. “That’s an excellent level. Is the promoting of fentanyl inside america inflicting a whole bunch of 1000’s of deaths over the previous years thought-about a excessive crime, in your opinion?”
“I’m unaware that the secretary has bought any fentanyl,” Bowman mentioned flatly.
“No, I’m not directing that to the secretary, I’m asking you,” mentioned Luttrell. “If the promoting of fentanyl inside america, killing a whole bunch of 1000’s of People over time, would that be thought-about a excessive crime?”
“In case you may set up that an officer really did that, probably,” Bowman started, as Luttrell talked over him. “However now we have no proof that that ever occurred.”
“There’s no proof that a whole bunch of 1000’s of individuals over the previous few years have died from fentanyl overdoses?” the Texas Republican requested.
“I’m unaware of any proof that Secretary Mayorkas has ever bought fentanyl,” mentioned Bowman.
By now, the 2 had been brazenly clashing and elevating their voices. Luttrell stored mentioning that fentanyl is killing individuals ― and Bowman stored reminding him that this has nothing to do with crimes being dedicated by the homeland safety secretary that warrant impeachment.
“I’m not speaking about Secretary Mayorkas,” mentioned Luttrell, flustered. “I’m speaking about fentanyl!”
“However that’s what we’re right here to speak about!” replied Bowman. “Are we not, congressman? Secretary Mayorkas?”
The Texas congressman isn’t mistaken that America is going through a fentanyl disaster. Greater than 150 individuals die daily in america from overdoses on opioids like fentanyl, in keeping with the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. And Mexico, together with China, is a main supply for fentanyl being trafficked into the nation.
However fentanyl is overwhelmingly smuggled into america by U.S. residents, not by individuals illegally crossing the border, because the Cato Institute reported in 2022. Furthermore, Mayorkas is just not personally committing these crimes, so there isn’t any authorized foundation for impeaching him.
Luttrell ultimately moved on from making an attempt accountable Mayorkas for fentanyl deaths in America, and tried accountable him for different crimes.
“Let me ask you this, since we’re unhinged on fentanyl,” requested the Republican lawmaker, visibly agitated. “Do you contemplate slavery a excessive crime?”
Cross-border human trafficking can also be a significant issue, and as Luttrell cited, there are tens of tens of millions of individuals all over the world are who’re trapped in a type of fashionable slavery. However once more, Mayorkas is just not committing these crimes, so the concept he needs to be impeached for them is senseless.
The regulation professor, talking slowly and ultimately closing his eyes as he spoke, mentioned solely, “Is there any proof that Secretary Mayorkas has enslaved anybody?”
That signaled the tip of Luttrell’s questions for Bowman.
“That is getting just a little bit extra sophisticated than I believed it was going to be,” he mentioned, shifting on.
You may watch their alternate right here.