Some Republicans have announced plans to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over his failure to control the border. However, one party veteran warns that the move could lead to chaos.
Former Republican Georgia Rep. Bill Barr sat in Congress from 1995 until 2003, and as the Washington Examiner noted, he played a key role in the push to impeach former President Bill Clinton a quarter century ago for perjury obstructing justice.
Barr told the Examiner that "the process of impeachment has been basically devalued in recent years since the Clinton impeachment."
He complained that whereas Clinton was impeached for "very specific violations of criminal law by a sitting president" it has since devolved "into a political tool to simply go after a president and now others for policy disagreements."
"That's a misuse of impeachment, and it's going to undercut the value of impeachment even more," the former congressman insisted.
"And it's going to detract from what the new majority ought to be doing, and that is tackling the systemic problem with these government agencies and not simply going after the individuals," he continued.
Rather than pursuing impeachment, Barr suggested that Republicans should make use of the House Oversight Committee and Judiciary Committee.
Those bodies, Barr argued, can be used to investigate "the systemic abuse by government of citizens' individual liberty." Yet the former lawmaker acknowledged that "it's a lot easier to do what they're now talking about."
"It's a lot easier, particularly when you have only two years and you want to grab a bunch of headlines and you want to weaken your political opponents," he said.
"Impeachment is easy," Barr stressed. "Going after and solving the systemic problems with the federal government and particularly our law enforcement agencies is a lot more difficult."
Fox News reported that Texas Republican Rep. Pat Fallon filed articles of impeachment against Mayorkas on Monday, which were then referred to the House Judiciary Committee.
"Since day one, Secretary Mayorkas’ policies have undermined law enforcement activities at our southern border," Fox News quoted Fallon as saying in a statement.
"From perjuring himself before Congress about maintaining operational control of the border to the infamous ‘whip-gate’ slander against our border patrol agents, Secretary Mayorkas has proven time and time again that he is unfit to lead the Department of Homeland Security," the congressman declared.
"His willful actions have eroded our immigration system, undermined border patrol morale, and jeopardized American national security. He has violated the law and it is time for him to go."