(WASHINGTON) — Democratic members of the House Homeland Security Committee lambasted Republicans efforts to begin impeachment hearings against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and offered a full-throated defense of his tenure as secretary.

“What is going on tomorrow is an embarrassment to the impeachment clause of the Constitution,” New York Democratic Rep. Dan Goldman told reporters ahead of Wednesday’s hearing.

He added, “This is simply a policy dispute, a disagreement about how a different party is attacking a policy problem. And the Republicans are trying to abuse their power and the Constitution to convert what is simply a disagreement into somehow some way, a high crime and misdemeanor there is no crime, much less a high crime or misdemeanor here.”

Goldman was the lead impeachment lawyer when Democrats impeached former President Donald Trump in 2020. He was joined by other Homeland Security members Reps. Seth Magaziner of Rhode Island and Glenn Ivey of Maryland, both Democrats.

Magaziner said that when Oversight Committee Chairman Jim Comer brought legal witnesses to the first impeachment hearing of President Joe Biden it was “disastrous.”

“Clearly, the Republicans have learned from that experience and tomorrow, they’re not bringing in any constitutional experts or scholars. They’re bringing in Republican politicians because they know that if they bring in any serious constitutional scholar or constitutional expert, they’re going to hear the same thing that they heard in the oversight hearing on the Biden impeachment push,” Magaziner, who represents the second congressional district in Rhode Island, said.

He said Republicans are “complicit” in the “ongoing struggles” at the southwest border.

“But House Republicans rather than trying to work with the administration and work with the Secretary to solve the problem, instead care more about having a political issue to run on than they do actually solving the challenges that we have at the border,” Magaziner said.

Ivey said Republicans should be focused on other issues, such as funding the government, instead of on attempting to impeach the secretary. He also said some Republicans in moderate districts like in New York might not support impeaching Mayorkas.

“Hopefully the voters will punish them for, you know, abusing the system in this way, and really putting the Constitution at risk,” he said.

The three members also said that while Mayorkas is working on negotiating a border bill, Republicans aren’t helping the solution.

“It’s not a good look for the House of Representatives that while the Senate is working diligently to try to craft the bill, the houses distracted by you know, an impeachment drive with no legal merit,” Magaziner said.

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