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Nancy Pelosi: Republican impeachment push is about ‘puppeteer’ Trump

By Jake Beardslee · February 8, 2024

In brief…

  • House GOP's attempt to impeach Mayorkas failed in 214-216 vote
  • 3 Republicans joined Dems to block impeachment effort
  • Pelosi criticized GOP, said impeachment attempt is about Trump
  • Johnson admitted setback but vowed to try impeachment again
House Republicans' bid to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas was blocked in a 214-216 vote, but GOP leaders remain determined to oust the secretary.  Office of U.S. House Speaker/Wikimedia

House Republicans’ attempt to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas failed on Tuesday evening after three GOP lawmakers sided with Democrats in a 214-216 vote. The vote tanked Republicans’ chances of impeaching Mayorkas, delivering a critical blow to Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) and the GOP, who have vowed for months to impeach the secretary.

Republican Reps. Ken Buck (Colo.), Tom McClintock (Calif.) and Mike Gallagher (Wis.) all voted against the impeachment effort. A fourth Republican, Rep. Blake Moore (Utah), switched his vote to “no” just before the vote closed, allowing the conference to potentially bring the legislation back to the floor later.

In an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Wednesday, Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) criticized House Republicans over the failed vote, saying “Everything they do is about Donald Trump. He’s the puppeteer.” She added, “Sadly, as I’ve always said, he’s shining a light on the strings, and it looks terrible. Everything’s about him.”

Pelosi argued that Secretary Mayorkas is a “distinguished public servant” who has “honored the law and the policy” and that Republicans are trying to “cheapen the commodity of what an impeachment is.”

Speaker Johnson conceded on Wednesday that the failed vote was a “setback” but said Republicans will pass articles of impeachment “on the next round,” according to The New York Times.

Pelosi advised that lawmakers should not bring legislation to the floor without knowing they have the votes, saying, “I always say to my colleagues, now the Republicans in the leadership: Don’t bring the bill to the floor unless you know you have the votes. And in order to know you had the votes, you had to have some in your pocket.”

The failed impeachment vote represents a significant setback for House Republicans in their efforts to oust Secretary Mayorkas. However, Speaker Johnson has signaled they will try again to pass articles of impeachment against the Homeland Security chief.