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DHS letter contradicts GOP claim that Mayorkas refused to testify

Republicans leading impeachment hearings against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas requested written testimony from Mayorkas after he said he “refused” to testify in person, but a letter obtained by NBC News indicates that he was prepared to testify on a date different from that requested.

The Republican-led Homeland Security Committee had requested Mayorkas by letter to testify this Thursday, January 18. The letter did not offer alternative dates for Mayorkas’ appearance.

In a response letter to the committee sent last Thursday, Jan. 11, the Department of Homeland Security said Mayorkas could not testify this week for scheduling reasons, in part because he had to host Mexican government officials to discuss border control.

“Consistent with the Secretary’s commitment to cooperate with congressional committees, he will make himself available to testify before the committee,” the DHS letter said. “We look forward to working through the details with committee staff and agreeing on the date and structure of the hearing.” As you can see, the Secretary’s schedule is very busy with departmental work, including hosting members of the Mexican Cabinet next week to discuss border control.

The Mexican delegation, which includes members of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s cabinet, is traveling to Washington to discuss and negotiate new policies to stem the flow of migration. Negotiations began last month when Mayorkas and Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Mexico to ask Mexico to do more to stop U.S.-bound migrants.

Republicans on the Homeland Security Committee, led by Chairman Mark Green of Tennessee, said in their letter that they “are offering the Secretary the opportunity to submit written testimony for the record to defend his refusal to follow the laws of United States and its betrayal. of public trust.

Two Democratic sources said Republicans on the committee declined to offer more dates for Mayorkas, in part because they wanted a vote to impeach him by the end of the month.

A DHS spokesperson said that by refusing to offer more dates, “it is abundantly clear that they are not interested in hearing from Secretary Mayorkas because it does not fit with their bad faith, their predetermined and unconstitutional rush to impeach him “.

It was not immediately clear whether Mayorkas would submit written testimony to the commission. A DHS official noted that Mayorkas testified before Congress more than any other member of Biden’s Cabinet, 27 times in 35 months, where he focused primarily on answering questions about immigration at the southern border.

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