Rep. Mark Green, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee last week demanded written testimony from DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas after the secretary was unable to testify before the committee in its impeachment inquiry hearing scheduled for January 18, The Hill reported.
In a January 17 letter to Secretary Mayorkas, Chairman Green said that since the secretary had continued to “decline” to testify before the committee, he was invited to submit written testimony so members of the committee could “hear from you directly.”
However, DHS disputed Chairman Green’s interpretation of the events, saying in a statement that the disagreement on scheduling a date for the secretary to testify was part of the Republicans’ attempt to “rush to impeach.”
DHS spokeswoman Mia Ehrenberg said in a statement last week that Green’s letter was the latest example of the Republicans’ “sham” impeachment process.
Ehrenberg said Republicans on the Homeland Security Committee have made it clear that they weren’t interested in having Mayorkas testify in person since his testimony would not fit the Republicans’ “bad-faith, predetermined, and unconstitutional rush to impeach him.”
She insisted that the committee failed to respond to Secretary Mayorkas’ offer to “find a mutually agreeable date” for the secretary to publicly testify and blasted Chairman Green for providing the letter to the media before reaching out to DHS.
Ehrenberg accused committee Republicans of preferring to play politics over working with DHS “to address the serious issues at the border.”
After Green invited Secretary Mayorkas to testify during the January 18 hearing, DHS Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs Zepharanie Buetow sent a letter to the chairman suggesting that the committee and DHS find an alternative date, noting that the secretary was preparing for upcoming talks with Mexican officials and could not make the January 18 hearing.
Talks between US and Mexican officials to discuss options for deterring illegal migrants from coming to the southern border resumed in Washington on January 19.