DHS hires law firm to defend Sec. Mayorkas in possible impeachment proceedings

February 11, 2023
Ben Marquis

The House Republican majority has made it exceedingly clear that they are ready and willing to impeach Homeland Security Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas in response to the Biden administration's non-enforcement policies that have resulted in record-high illegal immigration across an unsecured southern border.

Given the increasing likelihood that Mayorkas will be impeached by House Republicans, the Department of Homeland Security has hired an outside law firm to help defend the secretary and the department in any forthcoming impeachment proceedings, the Daily Caller reported.

Interestingly enough, that same exact firm had been hired by House Democrats to provide prosecutorial assistance in the two impeachments of former President Donald Trump.

Outside firm hired

Politico reported that, according to three unnamed DHS officials, the department has signed a contract with the New York-based law firm Debevoise & Plimpton to provide legal advice and assistance in the event that House Republicans move forward with impeachment proceedings against Sec. Mayorkas.

The firm was hired because DHS lacks sufficient staff to be shifted from their normal duties to help respond to an impeachment, nor does the department have any counsel on hand with any impeachment experience. The Debevoise & Plimpton firm, however, has the experience of aiding House Democrats in their impeachments of former President Trump.

Due to the "urgency" of the matter, a no-bid contract was awarded to the law firm in the amount of $1.5 million with an option to increase it to $3 million. The contract will run through Jan. 2, 2025, the last day of the current session of Congress, and is dependent upon an actual impeachment, meaning it can be canceled early without penalty if it becomes clear that House Republicans will not move forward with impeachment proceedings against Mayorkas.

Impeachment threat is real

Politico suggested that, despite commentary from the White House downplaying the possibility of impeachment, the contract with the law firm shows that DHS is taking the impeachment threat quite seriously, as well as they should.

The conservative Heritage Foundation recently laid out a thorough legal case for the impeachment of Sec. Mayorkas that House Republicans could lean on and use as a model for formal articles of impeachment.

Even before that was published, however, both Reps. Pat Fallon (R-TX) and Andy Biggs (R-AZ) had already filed their own articles of impeachment against the head of DHS.

Mayorkas insists "we are doing everything that we can"

Politico reported that one of the unnamed DHS officials said of the development, "We do not want this to distract the secretary or the department from the important homeland security, national security work that we do day to day," and added, "We are protecting the country from terrorist attacks by air, by sea. We are protecting the country from cybersecurity attacks. We are securing the borders."

Sec. Mayorkas himself issued a statement to Politico that said, "Everyone agrees that the immigration system has been terribly broken and outdated for decades. It is my hope that Congress takes that problem and fixes it once and for all."

"In the meantime, within a broken system, we are doing everything that we can to increase its efficiency, to provide humanitarian relief when the law permits, and to also deliver an enforcement consequence when the law dictates," the secretary added. "That is exactly what we are doing, and I will continue to do that with tremendous pride alongside the incredible workforce at DHS."

"Unprecedented, unjustified, and partisan impeachment efforts"

The Daily Caller reported that a DHS spokesperson said in a statement, "The Department of Homeland Security has retained outside counsel to help ensure the Department’s vital mission is not interrupted by the unprecedented, unjustified, and partisan impeachment efforts by some Members of Congress, who have already taken steps to initiate proceedings."

"DHS will continue prioritizing its work to protect our country from terrorism, respond to natural disasters, and secure our borders while responding appropriately to the over 70 Congressional committees and subcommittees that have oversight of DHS," the spokesperson added.

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