Senate decides not to bother with House GOP’s dumb impeachment stunt

House Republicans really wanted an impeachment of … someone. President Joe Biden, preferably, or his son Hunter, or maybe Hunter’s laptop, or perhaps Hunter’s dog walker. They decided on Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who didn’t commit any high crimes or misdemeanors but did attempt to execute the policies of the administration in which he serves. 

On Wednesday, the Senate took one look at the articles of impeachment oh-so-solemnly delivered by a hard-right House faction just the day before and said, “Nope. Hard pass.” Senators voted to toss the case without wasting their time on a trial.

And like that, it was all over.

That House Republicans, led by their increasingly endangered leader Mike Johnson, insisted on going through with the whole charade in the first place is a testament to their dedication to absurd stunts, as well as their inability to count. In February, they couldn’t count the number of votes they would need to actually impeach Mayorkas, and their first attempt failed.

Once they finally got their precious articles passed, they waited. And waited. And waited. It just never seemed like the right time to send those articles to the Senate because even Republican senators were musing that it all seemed like a ridiculous waste of time.

But finally—finally!—the glorious moment came when Marjorie Taylor Greene and fellow House impeachment managers would have the spotlight on their big impeachment moment. Except that didn’t happen either, because Greene instead directed the media’s attention to her threats to oust the aforementioned increasingly endangered House speaker.

If only the Republicans could get a trial in the Senate, though, they’d show once and for all how impeachable Mayorkas’ supposed offenses really were! Only problem there is that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said all along he’d move to toss the whole thing without a trial, and a lot of his fellow Democrats—even West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, who called the impeachment stunt “pure crap”—agreed with him.

So where does that leave everyone? Senators are now free to go back to doing their jobs, as is Mayorkas. But what about Johnson, who can’t seem to deliver a win to his Republican caucus no matter what?

Well, the the bad week he was already having on Tuesday just got worse, and his miscalculation about when it would be safe to send the impeachment to the Senate certainly won’t improve things for him. On Tuesday, Greene picked up the support of Kentucky’s Thomas Massie, who said he would cosponsor her motion to kick Johnson to the curb.

Thus far, they’re the only two Republicans in the House who want to fire yet another speaker. But now that Johnson’s delivered another GOP humiliation, who knows whether others might be ready to join that mission? After all, it’s only Wednesday.

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Marjorie Taylor Greene makes a mess of House GOP’s big impeachment day

The ill-fated impeachment trial of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas was finally supposed to take center stage for House Republicans this week after Speaker Mike Johnson pulled it last week. The House impeachment managers presented the articles to the Senate Tuesday afternoon, in what’s supposed to be a solemn and grave proceeding—impeachment is as serious as it gets in Congress. 

Mayorkas’ impeachment is supposed to demonstrate the House GOP’s resolve on immigration and border policy and prove that it can actually get something done, but the antics of extremist Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Thomas Massie have completely overshadowed it. House Republicans brought the impeachment to the Senate, and no one gave a damn.

Instead, the blockbuster news of the day is Massie joining with Greene on her threat to oust Johnson, making the impeachment attempt even more of a ridiculous sideshow. It’s also hilarious that it’s Greene—who spearheaded the sham impeachment to begin with—who is derailing it.

If Johnson is capable of learning, this should be a lesson to him about trying to appease the hard-right faction of his party. Greene not only filed this embarrassing motion to impeach, but she’s also on the impeachment managers team. Letting her loose on the Senate floor during what’s supposed to be a serious moment is a dangerous move.

Greene gave a preview of her possible antics during a DHS budget hearing Tuesday morning.

“I demand that Chuck Schumer holds your impeachment trial in the Senate, because that’s exactly what we should be focused on right now,” Greene told Mayorkas. Sure, Marge. Sure. 

Greene’s demand means squat to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

“Impeachment should never be used to settle a policy disagreement, Schumer said. “Talk about awful precedents. This would set an awful precedent for Congress."

The Senate is not going to convict Mayorkas, as even some Republicans think it’s bullshit. But senators are still obligated to take time out of a hectic week to deal with the charade. They have to spend time Tuesday receiving the articles, and then they will have to waste a chunk of Wednesday being sworn in as jurors, even though the impeachment push is going nowhere. 

The whole spectacle is just one more example of House Republicans’ ineptitude and what happens when they let the likes of Greene run the show.

Donate now to end this circus, and to take the House back from Republicans!


House Democrats come hard at GOP in Mayorkas impeachment hearing

House speaker delays doomed-to-fail impeachment trial

'It's crap. Pure crap': Senators look to quickly dismiss Mayorkas impeachment

House speaker delays doomed-to-fail impeachment trial

House Speaker Mike Johnson had a plan. He had planned to finally—finally—send the articles of impeachment for Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to the Senate this week, even though the impeachment, as he well knows, is dead on arrival because even Republican senators can’t get it up to convict.

But now, according to The Hill, Johnson has a new plan. And the new plan is to keep waiting.

“To ensure the Senate has adequate time to perform its constitutional duty, the House will transmit the articles of impeachment to the Senate next week,” a Johnson spokesperson said.

What difference could one week make? Probably none. There is so little enthusiasm for this ridiculous Republican stunt to try to embarrass the Biden administration that Johnson couldn’t even get the impeachment through the House the first time he tried. Despite his efforts, he managed to embarrass only himself. 

Johnson tried again a week later and just barely pulled it off, but he and his fellow Republicans have been sitting on their impeachment since February waiting for … well, it isn’t entirely clear what they’ve been waiting for.

Several of their colleagues in the Senate have made it pretty clear that they couldn’t care less about this impeachment. So much so that some have suggested they might even help Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer dismiss the whole thing without a trial.

Because while the Republicans in the House have convinced themselves that Mayorkas did very bad things like supporting President Joe Biden’s policies, Republicans in the Senate are willing to admit that’s not an actual crime.

“If there is a policy difference, it’s with the president,” Mitt Romney said, “not the secretary that reports to him.”

And in case that isn’t clear enough, Romney told Axios he doesn't "think the constitutional standard of high crime and misdemeanor has been met." 

Even Romney’s fellow Utahn Mike Lee, who apparently made the request to postpone, doesn’t sound all that jazzed about the impeachment trial.

He said he was “very grateful” that Johnson was willing to delay the impeachment process yet another week, under the theory that if the Senate gets the paperwork earlier in the week, it will somehow change senators’ hearts and minds and make them more eager to carry out this charade.

“It’s much better for us to do this at the beginning of a legislative week rather than toward the end of one and I thank him for doing that,” Lee said.

Okay, sure. Just wait a little bit longer and the Senate will come around. But perhaps, just to be safe, Johnson should give it another week after that. And another week after that. And another week …. 

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‘It’s crap. Pure crap’: Senators look to quickly dismiss Mayorkas impeachment

House Republicans are ready to take their sham impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to the Senate this week, where they’ll likely find a hostile jury. That’s if the Senate decides to even have a trial.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer made it clear in February, after the House voted to impeach, that he views the whole fiasco a waste of time. 

“This sham impeachment effort is another embarrassment for House Republicans,” he said in a statement.  “House Republicans failed to produce any evidence that Secretary Mayorkas has committed any crime. House Republicans failed to show he has violated the Constitution. House Republicans failed to present any evidence of anything resembling an impeachable offense.” 

Last month, he called the whole thing “absurd.”

The House impeachment managers—including extremists Andy Biggs of Arizona and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia—will likely present their case on Wednesday, with senators sworn in as jurors on Thursday. Then it will just be a matter of how fast the Senate dispenses with it.

Schumer wrote to Democrats Friday, giving them a preview of the next few weeks of work, including impeachment, and hinted that his likely course of action will be to move to dismiss the charges. 

“I remind Senators that your presence next week is essential,” he wrote. That’s because he needs all Democrats present to vote on that motion to dismiss. 

He’ll have them. Even West Virginia’s Joe Manchin has trashed the impeachment. 

“It’s crap. Pure crap,” he told reporters in February. “No trial at all, it’s ridiculous. The trial will be in November. No. You start that craziness and play games and that stuff?” He added that Cabinet officials “work for the president. You got a problem, go to the polls.” 

He also said he believes there are sufficient votes to dismiss the impeachment. “I just want to get rid of it as quick as possible. You go down that path, that’s a slippery slope, you’ll never stop,” he said in February. 

There are at least three Republican senators—Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Mitt Romney of Utah—who have been skeptical enough about the whole thing to help Democrats dispense with this quickly. Romney even suggested in February that he’d vote to dismiss. 

“If there is a policy difference, it’s with the president, not the secretary that reports to him,” he said.

Republican leader Mitch McConnell paid lip service to conducting a trial in remarks last week, but didn’t show much enthusiasm for it. "[T]he Democrats have a majority, so it may not go on very long," McConnell told reporters. "But my preference would be to actually have a trial. But I think the majority is likely to prevent that."

Officially, Senate Republicans will make noises about having that trial. Republican Whip John Thune said at a recent leadership press conference that the House “has determined that Secretary Mayorkas has committed impeachable offenses” and that he thinks “the Senate needs to hold a trial.” How strenuously they’ll try to make that happen is another question—particularly considering who they’ll be teaming up with in the House. After all, Biggs and Greene will be among those coming to the Senate floor with this bullshit. How many GOP senators are going to want to ally with those guys?


Yes, the House GOP really will try to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas

House GOP’s unprecedented stunt to impeach Mayorkas fails

Speaker demands House stop 'political posturing' hours after impeachment stunt

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Speaker Mike Johnson finds time for impeachment stunt, but not to help Ukraine

House Speaker Mike Johnson has plenty of excuses for not taking up the Ukraine aid package the Senate passed early this week, saying that he’s just got too many serious issues on his plate to help in the fight for democracy against Russian totalitarianism. He told reporters Wednesday morning that “we have to address this seriously, to actually solve the problems and not just take political posturing as has happened in some of these other corners.”

Reporter: You yourself were part of killing the senate compromise bill. You say there need to be solutions, what are house Republicans doing to get to a solution on the border and on Ukraine? Or are you going to actually do nothing?

— Acyn (@Acyn) February 14, 2024

Yes, he seriously accused Ukraine aid proponents of “political posturing” just hours after he led House Republicans in their second—barely successful—sham impeachment vote of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. By the way, that reporter’s question was spot on. Johnson effectively killed the original Senate bill that included a border security package by saying it would be dead on arrival in the House. Now he complains that the aid bill “has not one word about the border.”

Johnson also insists that he’s too busy figuring out how to avoid a government shutdown on March 1 and that it will take time for his team to “process” the Senate’s package. Guess what’s not on the House schedule this week? That’s right: Any appropriations bills to fund the government ahead of the looming deadline. Again, he was able to carve out more time to impeach Mayorkas and to force the Senate to deal with that just days before the government funding deadline.

The Senate is out until Feb. 26 and is going to have to deal with the Mayorkas impeachment as soon as they return. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer outlined the process in a statement, indicating that the House impeachment managers will “present the articles of impeachment to the Senate” as soon as they’re back in, and “[s]enators will be sworn in as jurors in the trial the next day.”

Which means two days of valuable Senate time will be wasted on this because the Senate will never vote to convict Mayorkas, but they have to deal with it anyway. They’ll dispense with it as quickly as the Senate can do anything, but they need every hour for the long process of passing the bills to keep the government from shutting down.

That process between the House and Senate is going nowhere fast because of all the poison-pill riders about abortion, contraception, and trans issues the House Republicans crammed into their spending bills.

On top of all that, Johnson—who just spent an embarrassing week and a half of floor time impeaching one of Biden’s cabinet members—is now demanding that Biden take him seriously and have a face-to-face meeting with him on the Ukraine bill. A White House spokesperson told NBC that Johnson “needed to wrap the negotiations he has having with himself and stop delaying national security needs in the name of politics.” Biden is not included to help Johnson out of this one.

“That body language says: ‘I know I’m in a tough spot. Please bail me out,’” one Democrat involved with the supplemental aid package told NBC.


Speaker Mike Johnson had a stunningly awful day—and he did it to himself

House GOP votes to impeach Mayorkas, after failing first attempt

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Trump spent years exploiting immigrants he now claims are ‘poisoning’ our country

Former President Donald Trump used language right from Hitler’s playbook when he claimed that immigrants coming to the U.S. are “poisoning the blood of our country.” What’s particularly scary is just how many Trump supporters embrace his fascistic rhetoric about immigrants. Rolling Stone reported on the results of a University of Massachusetts Amherst poll that found that 35% of Trump’s 2020 voters agree with his dark message about the threat posed by immigrants.

But what they probably don’t realize is the total hypocrisy of Trump’s rhetoric. That’s because for decades, including during Trump’s presidency, his company relied on undocumented workers to fill jobs as housekeepers, waitersgroundskeepers, and stonemasons at his properties, The Washington Post reported.

RELATED STORY: Trump's attacking a military family because that's who he is

The newspaper wrote:

Using them brought a double advantage: Trump could reap the financial benefit of undocumented labor — the ability to pay his employees lower wages and fewer benefits — and the political benefit of attacking it.

The subject of immigration and the border crisis has become the hot button issue for Republicans. House Republicans narrowly impeached Cuban-born Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas Tuesday evening for allegedly failing to enforce immigration laws. But for decades, the Trump Organization ignored the employment eligibility of its workers.

RELATED STORY: House GOP votes to impeach Mayorkas, after failing first attempt

In December 2019, The Washington Post shared that its reporters had spoken with 48 undocumented immigrants who had worked for the Trump Organization at 11 of its properties, including five golf courses in New Jersey and New York and the Mar-a-Lago private club in Florida. Trump has said he was unaware that his properties had hired undocumented workers.

One of the undocumented workers, Sandra Diaz, an immigrant from Costa Rica who used a fake Social Security card to get hired, worked as Trump’s personal housekeeper at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey. She described her duties to The Washington Post as follows:

Moving quickly through the two-story house in the mornings, Diaz carried out Trump’s fastidious instructions. In his closet, she would hang six sets of identical golf outfits: six white polo shirts, six pairs of beige pants, six neatly ironed pairs of boxer shorts. She would smear a dollop of Trump’s liquid face makeup on the back of her hand to make sure it hadn’t dried out.

In late 2018, Diaz and her successor as Trump’s personal housekeeper at Bedminster, Victorina Morales, an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala, approached The New York Times through their immigration lawyer to talk about their experiences working at the Trump golf club.

Diaz, who worked at Bedminster from 2010-2013, is now a legal resident of the U.S., the Times reported. Morales was still working at Bedminster when she went public about her immigration status; she no longer works at the club and has filed an application for asylum status.

Morales told the Times that she could no longer keep silent because she felt hurt by Trump’s public  comments equating Latin American immigrants with violent criminals and by abusive comments from a supervisor at the golf club about her intelligence and immigration status.

“We are tired of the abuse, the insults, the way he talks about us when he knows that we are here helping him make money,” Morales told  The Times. “We sweat it out to attend to his every need and have to put up with his humiliation.”

That led to more reports in The Washington Post and other major news outlets. Here’s an interview the two women gave to NowThis News.

After the women came forward, the Trump Organization began cracking down. It audited employees’ immigration papers and started using the federal E-Verify online system to check documents to confirm employment eligibility for new hires. Dozens of undocumented workers were either fired or quit in the runup to the 2020 election campaign.

In May 2019, CNN interviewed 19 of the undocumented immigrants who had worked at Trump golf clubs in New York and New Jersey:

But after 2020, this story about undocumented workers at Trump properties simply faded away. It’s important to keep Trump’s hypocrisy in the forefront as he has made immigration the major issue of his 2024 presidential campaign and is dehumanizing immigrants with fascistic rhetoric worse than when he ran in 2016.

The New York Times reported that Trump plans to introduce even more draconian immigration laws if elected than he did in his first term, which was marked by such cruel policies as separating children from their parents at the border. Trump’s plans for a second term include: deporting millions of people who don’t have legal status, setting up massive camps along the border to hold people awaiting deportation, a renewed Muslim travel ban, and the end of birthright citizenship.

Todd Schulte, the president of, an immigration and criminal justice advocacy group, told The New York Times:

“Americans should understand these policy proposals are an authoritarian, often illegal, agenda that would rip apart nearly every aspect of American life — tanking the economy, violating the basic civil rights of millions of immigrants and native-born Americans alike.”

It’s worth noting that about 200 undocumented Polish construction workers laid the foundation for Trump’s real estate empire when they were hired in 1980 to demolish a department store on Fifth Avenue on the future site of Trump Tower. In August 2016, just months before the presidential election, Time Magazine reported about how the Polish workers were exploited, “putting in 12-hour shifts with inadequate safety equipment at subpar wages that their contractor paid sporadically, if at all.” Trump denied that he knowingly used undocumented workers, instead blaming the contractor. But documents reviewed by Time showed that Trump sought out the Polish workers for the demolition project when he saw them working on another job.

After a protracted legal battle, Trump settled a lawsuit in 1998 regarding the workers over union pension violations, agreeing to pay nearly $1.4 million. Time reported the settlement details in 2017 after going to court to get the records unsealed.

Time reported that in 1990, Daniel Sullivan, a labor consultant and FBI informant hired by Trump in 1980 to deal with the problem of the undocumented Polish workers, told People magazine:

“It was disgusting how he used people,” Sullivan said. “I said, ‘Don’t exploit them like that. Don’t try to f-ck these poor souls over.’ It baffled me then, and it makes me sick even now that he knowingly had these Poles there for the purpose of Trump Tower at starvation wages. He couldn’t give a sh-t because he’s Donald Trump and everybody is here to serve him. Over time he became more and more monstrous and arrogant. I asked myself, ‘How long is it going to take for all of this to catch up with him?'”

It certainly hasn’t so far.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who like other Republican politicians has bowed the knee to Trump, even brought up the issue of Trump’s hiring of undocumented immigrants to work at or construct some of his properties during a February 2016 Republican presidential debate. But that didn’t stop Trump from winning the nomination with his promise to build a wall along the southern border and have Mexico pay for it.

Someone has been poisoning our democracy, and it sure isn’t hard-working immigrants.

RELATED STORY: For Republicans, it's now 'Trump First, Putin Second, America Third'

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House GOP votes to impeach Mayorkas, after failing first attempt

The U.S. House voted Tuesday to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, with the Republican majority determined to punish the Biden administration over its handling of the U.S-Mexico border after failing last week in a politically embarrassing setback.

The evening roll call proved tight, with Speaker Mike Johnson’s threadbare GOP majority unable to handle many defectors or absences in the face of staunch Democratic opposition to impeaching Mayorkas, the first Cabinet secretary facing charges in nearly 150 years.

In a historic rebuke, the House impeached Mayorkas 214-213. With the return of Majority Leader Steve Scalise to bolster the GOP's numbers after being away from Washington for cancer care and a Northeastern storm impacting some others, Republicans recouped — despite dissent from their own ranks.

Johnson had posted a fists-clenched photo with Scalise, announcing his remission from cancer, saying, “looking forward to having him back in the trenches this week!”

The GOP effort to impeach Mayorkas over his handling of the southern border has taken on an air of political desperation as Republicans struggle to make good on their priorities.

Mayorkas faced two articles of impeachment filed by the Homeland Security Committee arguing that he “willfully and systematically” refused to enforce existing immigration laws and that he breached the public trust by lying to Congress and saying the border was secure.

But critics of the impeachment effort said the charges against Mayorkas amount to a policy dispute over Biden's border policy, hardly rising to the Constitution's bar of high crimes and misdemeanors.

The House had initially launched an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden over his son’s business dealings, but instead turned its attention to Mayorkas after Trump ally Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia pushed the debate forward following the panel’s months-long investigation.

The charges against Mayorkas would next go to the Senate for a trial, but neither Democratic nor Republican senators have shown interest in the matter and it may be indefinitely shelved to a committee.

Border security has shot to the top of campaign issues, with Donald Trump, the Republican front-runner for the presidential nomination, insisting he will launch “the largest domestic deportation operation in American history” if he retakes the White House.

Various House Republicans have prepared legislation to begin deporting migrants who were temporarily allowed into the U.S. under the Biden administration’s policies, many as they await adjudication of asylum claims.

“We have no choice,” Trump said in stark language at a weekend rally in South Carolina.

At the same time, Johnson rejected a bipartisan Senate border security package but has been unable to advance Republicans’ own proposal which is a nonstarter in the Senate.

Three Republican representatives broke ranks last week over the Mayorkas impeachment, which several leading conservative scholars have dismissed as unwarranted and a waste of time. With a 219-212 majority, Johnson had few votes to spare.

Mayorkas is not the only Biden administration official the House Republicans want to impeach. They have filed legislation to impeach a long list including Vice President Kamala Harris, Attorney General Merrick Garland, FBI Director Christopher Wray and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

Never before has a sitting Cabinet secretary been impeached, and it was nearly 150 years ago that the House voted to impeach President Ulysses S. Grant’s secretary of war, William Belknap, over a kickback scheme in government contracts. He resigned before the vote.

Mayorkas, who did not appear to testify before the impeachment proceedings, put the border crisis squarely on Congress for failing to update immigration laws during a time of global migration.

“There is no question that we have a challenge, a crisis at the border,” Mayorkas said over the weekend on NBC. “And there is no question that Congress needs to fix it.”

Johnson and the Republicans have pushed back, arguing that the Biden administration could take executive actions, as Trump did, to stop the number of crossings — though the courts have questioned and turned back some of those efforts.

“We always explore what options are available to us that are permissible under the law,” Mayorkas said.

Last week's failed vote to impeach Mayorkas — a surprise outcome rarely seen on such a high-profile issue — was a stunning display in the chamber that has been churning through months of GOP chaos since the ouster of the previous House speaker.

One of the Republican holdouts, Rep. Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin, who had served as a Marine, announced over the weekend he would not be seeking reelection in the fall, joining a growing list of serious-minded Republican lawmakers heading for the exits.

At the time, Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, who had been hospitalized for emergency abdominal surgery, made a surprise arrival, wheeled into the chamber in scrubs and socks to vote against it — leaving the vote tied, and failed.

“Obviously, you feel good when you can make a difference,” said Green, describing his painstaking route from hospital bed to the House floor. “All I did was what I was elected to do, and that was to cast my vote on the issues of our time, using the best judgment available to me.”

Republicans are hopeful the New York special election will boost their ranks further, but the outcome of that race is uncertain.

Leader Hakeem Jeffries: ‘It’s not our responsibility’ to help GOP count votes

House Speaker Mike Johnson told reporters Wednesday that the debacle of Republicans’ failure to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas was merely a “setback,” a numbers game and not a colossal failure on his team’s account. “Sometimes when you’re counting votes and people show up when they’re not expected to be in the building it changes the equation,” he said. Those tricksy Democrats hiding their votes. 

Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries was having none of that when he talked to reporters Wednesday. “It’s not our responsibility to let House Republicans know which members will or will not be present on the House floor on any other day or in connection with any given vote.”

He slammed Republicans for the political distraction:

What does the impeachment of Secretary Mayorkas have to do with the economy? Nothing. What does the impeachment of Secretary Mayorkas have to do with addressing the affordability issues in the United States of America? Nothing. What does the impeachment of Secretary Mayorkas have to do with fixing our broken immigration system and addressing challenges at the border? Absolutely nothing.

It's incredible to me that instead of extreme MAGA Republicans pivoting to working with us in a commonsense way to solve real problems for the American people, their focus is on how do we get Steve Scalise back to Washington so we can continue to do the bidding of Marjorie Taylor Greene and Donald Trump and impeach Secretary Mayorkas? That tells you everything we need to know about this do-nothing, chaotic, dysfunctional and extreme Republican majority.

That is what Johnson is focused on: Getting Rep. Steve Scalise—who is recovering from a stem cell transplant—back to work and bringing the resolution back to the floor just as he’s available. Johnson and his team are not going to address the issue that three of their members are opposed to this impeachment because it’s bullshit.

“People around here should take note of it because they’re losing a group of Republicans that are really important,” Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado, one of those “no” votes on Tuesday, told The Hill. “The vote is a matter of numbers always. But I don’t think it’s a matter of numbers when you’re looking at the Constitution and whether it’s the right thing to do.”


House GOP’s unprecedented stunt to impeach Mayorkas fails

Speaker Mike Johnson had a stunningly awful day—and he did it to himself

House GOP forms circular firing squad over their epic failures

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For Republicans, it’s now ‘Trump First, Putin Second, America Third’

From a domestic perspective, the Republican Party’s embarrassing failure to follow through on its Fox News-goaded attempt to impeach Homeland Security chief Alejandro Mayorkas proved to be a blessing. It was wholly performative theater, without any legitimacy. The party’s abrupt, equally embarrassing turnabout on immigration—an issue that Republicans had planned on wielding against Democrats going into 2024—was just more evidence of the GOP’s terminal dysfunction. 

As schadenfreude-y as it may have been for Democrats to watch as the Republicans immolated themselves on the altar of immigration, the rest of the world was far more concerned about how the U.S. would follow through on its prior strategic commitments to Ukraine and Israel. By Wednesday morning, aid packages to both nations were hopelessly consigned to the quicksand of GOP intransigence and finger-pointing. Since aid to those countries was tied—at Republicans’ insistence—to border legislation, the Republicans’ pathetic submission of their much-vaunted immigration concerns to Donald Trump’s electoral whims may have doomed the prospects of further aid to Ukraine and Israel for the remainder of the fiscal year.

(Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer is now crafting separate packages, without immigration reform included, but their likelihood of success appears murky.) 

From the perspective of our allies, however, what occurred this week is seen less as habitual Republican dysfunction and more as the total abandonment of American resolve. In a week’s time, we have proved ourselves, as Anne Applebaum presciently warned last month in The Atlantic, worse than an unreliable ally: We’ve become “a silly ally”—one that can no longer be taken seriously by the rest of the world.

Applebaum isn’t alone in that assessment. Tom Friedman’s Tuesday opinion piece in The New York Times, acidly titled “The G.O.P. Bumper Sticker: Trump First. Putin Second. America Third,” explains just how damaging and consequential the Republicans’ actions this week have been to the nation.

As Friedman wrote, even before the immigration and foreign aid bill collapsed under the weight of Republican cowardice:

There are hinges in history, and this is one of them. What Washington does — or does not do — this year to support its allies and secure our border will say so much about our approach to security and stability in this new post-post-Cold War era. Will America carry the red, white and blue flag into the future or just a white flag? Given the pessimistic talk coming out of the Capitol, it is looking more and more like the white flag, autographed by Donald Trump.

There is no serious doubt that House Republicans rejected the Senate’s painstakingly crafted immigration legislation, which satisfied nearly all prior GOP demands for border enforcement, at the behest of Donald Trump. Trump prefers to do nothing, effectively maintaining the status quo at the border for another full year so he can use it as a campaign talking point, assuming he's still eligible to hold public office

Fearing Trump's wrath, House Republicans swiftly pronounced the immigration and foreign aid package "dead on arrival" before most had even read it. Meanwhile, Republican senators began to quaver at the prospect of being primaried by Trump-chosen challengers for the audacity of trying to actually pass meaningful legislation. Faced with Trump’s continued vise-like grip on their party, upper chamber Republicans opted to jettison the legislation altogether. 

But, as Friedman observes, there’s another key player in the mix: Vladimir Putin. Putin is well-aware that Trump will abandon Ukraine—and likely NATO—the instant he returns to power. Friedman recognizes that Trump’s interests—and thus the interests of a supine Republican Party intent on enabling Trump’s dictatorial ambitions—now necessarily dovetail with Putin’s.

After Ukraine inflicted a terrible defeat on the Russian Army — thanks to U.S. and NATO funding and weapons — without costing a single American soldier’s life, Putin now has to be licking his chops at the thought that we will walk away from Ukraine, leaving him surely counting the days until Kyiv’s missile stocks run out and he will own the skies. Then it’s bombs away.

This week, one of Putin’s primary assets, the propagandist and “useful idiot” Tucker Carlson, is purportedly being wined and dined in Moscow so he can provide cover for Republicans to gut Ukrainian aid. Carlson’s paywalled, one-on-one interview with Putin, and how it might enable the murderous dictator’s “outreach” to Republicans, is already the talk of Russian state television.

As reported Wednesday by The Washington Post’s Robyn Dixon and Natalia Abbakumova:

State television propagandist Vladimir Solovyov, one of the Kremlin’s anti-Western attack dogs, seemed to suggest that Carlson’s interview would torpedo any last hope for approval of new American military aid for Ukraine.

Solovyov said Carlson’s visit came “at the worst possible time for the West,” and he begged Carlson to join the Russian Union of Journalists, which Solovyov heads.

As Friedman points out, this eagerness of Republicans to betray American strategic interests in order to satisfy both Trump and Putin transforms America’s credibility with our allies into a mere afterthought.

If this is the future and our friends from Europe to the Middle East to Asia sense that we are going into hibernation, they will all start to cut deals — European allies with Putin, Arab allies with Iran, Asian allies with China. We won’t feel the change overnight, but, unless we pass this bill or something close to it, we will feel it over time.

America’s ability to assemble alliances against the probes of Russia, China and Iran will gradually be diminished. Our ability to sustain sanctions on pariah nations like North Korea will erode. The rules governing trade, banking and the sanctity of borders being violated by force — rules that America set, enforced and benefited from since World War II — will increasingly be set by others and by their interests.

The saddest fact is that no one should really be surprised by Republicans’ behavior. For a substantial segment of their caucus, their order of loyalty really is “Trump first, Putin second, America third.” Evidently they feel that the risk of betraying their own constituents on the immigration issue is well worth the effort and impact, if it means pleasing their two masters. And if they have so small a regard for their own constituents, there’s little doubt they feel even less toward the American republic writ large.

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Marjorie Taylor Greene asks if Republicans are ‘being bribed’ to oppose impeachment

Marjorie Taylor Greene gave a doozy of an interview with right-wing podcast host Charlie Kirk on Wednesday to commiserate about House Republicans’ failed impeachment vote Tuesday of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. 

Greene has been big mad about the failed vote and, like many of her pro-impeachment colleagues, is looking for someone—anyone—to blame, including Democrats for trying “to throw us off on the numbers.” 

But Greene has plenty of disdain for the Republicans who voted against the bill too. When Kirk asked why Ken Buck of Colorado, Tom McClintock of California, and Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin voted against impeachment, Greene seemed flabbergasted—but didn’t rule out the possibility that “they’re being bribed.”

Kirk fed the Georgia congresswoman the utterly baseless idea, asking, “Do you think these people are being blackmailed by the intel agencies? They might have had relations with certain  people and pictures and compromised. Do you think that they're currently being blackmailed?”

And Greene took the bait.

You know, I have no proof of that, but again, I can't understand the vote. So, nothing surprises me in Washington, D.C. anymore, Charlie. Literally, nothing surprises me because—it doesn't make sense to anyone, right? Why would anyone vote no? Why would anyone protect Mayorkas unless they're being bribed, unless there's something going on, unless they're making a deal. You know, because you can't understand it. It makes no sense. And it's completely wrong to vote no on impeachment.

Greene also speculated that Buck, who is retiring, is “trying to get a job working for CNN like Adam Kinzinger.” She insisted that McClintock is clearly not a real “constitutionalist.” And after listing off all of Gallagher’s military intelligence and military bonafides, she concluded, “I can't understand why he made that vote. But he did.” 

Greene might not understand it, but that doesn’t mean these Republican congressmen haven’t been clear and open about their reasons for voting against the impeachment stunt. 

Gallagher explained his opposition in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, titled “Why I Voted Against the Alejandro Mayorkas Impeachment.” 

“Creating a new, lower standard for impeachment, one without any clear limiting principle, wouldn’t secure the border or hold Mr. Biden accountable,” he wrote. “It would only pry open the Pandora’s box of perpetual impeachment.”

McClintock also explained his opposition in a speech on the House floor before Tuesday’s vote.

“Cabinet secretaries can't serve two masters. They can be impeached for committing a crime related to their office but not for carrying out presidential policy,” he said. “I'm afraid that stunts like this don't help."

On Wednesday, McClintock appeared on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” to again defend his vote, and responded to Greene saying McClintock needs to “read the room.

“I suggest she read the Constitution that she took an oath to support and defend,” he said. “That Constitution very clearly lays out the grounds for impeachment,” he said. “This dumbs down those grounds dramatically and would set a precedent that could be turned against the conservatives on the Supreme Court or a future Republican administration the moment the Democrats take control of the Congress.”

Nevertheless, Greene “can’t understand” why her Republican colleagues weren’t on board with her impeachment aspirations. It must be a conspiracy.  

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