DHS retains outside law firm to handle potential Mayorkas impeachment inquiry

House Republicans have vowed to impeach Mayorkas over the border crisis.

February 10, 2023, 5:37 PM

The Department of Homeland Security is bringing in an outside law firm to help deal with any GOP-led impeachment inquiry into secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, a DHS spokesperson told ABC News Friday.

"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," a DHS spokesperson told ABC News in a statement. "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."

A DHS official confirmed the agency has hired the firm of Debevoise & Plimpton. The news was first reported by CNN.

House Republicans have promised impeachment articles against Mayorkas.

PHOTO: Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas listens during a meeting with governors visiting from states around the country, Feb. 10, 2023 in Washington, D.C.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas listens during a meeting with governors visiting from states around the country, Feb. 10, 2023 in Washington, D.C.
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Arizona Republican Rep. Andy Biggs earlier this month rolled out the articles, saying Mayorkas has "violated his oath of office, wreaking havoc on this country and he must be impeached."

"He must be impeached because he is a public official who has lost public trust and is an imminent threat to the United States of America."

Biggs, who previously introduced articles in 2021, said at a news conference he would be filing the articles while speaking alongside fellow conservative members, including Reps. Lauren Bobert, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Bob Good, and others.

"Secretary Mayorkas has failed to faithfully uphold his oath and has instead presided over a reckless abandonment of border security and immigration enforcement, the expense of the Constitution and the security of the United States," the articles read.

Biggs did not provide a hard timeline for when the articles would be moved forward in committee.

In response, Mayorkas told reporters he takes a "great exception" to the comments by Biggs and that he "disagrees profoundly" with some of the assertions made by Biggs.

"I take great exception to those allegations and I don't necessarily ascribe one motive to all of them," he said at a reporters' roundtable at the Department of Homeland Security on Feb. 2. "I disagree profoundly with their assertion and it is my intention to see it proven successful.

"I don't take it personally. I take my work for personally. This is this is what I do. I've done it for almost 23 years now." He spoke of how the department's work affects people "profoundly" on a daily basis -- from taking criminals and other off the streets to the impact on the criminal justice system.

"I take my work personally and professionally. It's an awesome responsibility, and it worked really hard to fulfill. I don't take the accusations personally. I just heartily fully disagree with the assertions will not be diverted from the work that we're doing because of it."

Mayorkas said that he has instructed his department to comply with congressional committees conducting oversight.

He met this week with House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green, R-Tenn., who is expected to lead a fact-finding mission that may underpin a formal impeachment inquiry, according to a source familiar with the meeting.

ABC News' Quinn Owen contributed to this report.