IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona listens as President Joe Biden speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington on Aug. 24.Evan Vucci / AP file

GOP eyes yet another cabinet secretary for possible impeachment

How many members of the White House cabinet might Republicans impeach in the next Congress? As of today, I think we’re up to six political targets.


The New York Times published a good report today on what Americans can expect from Congress in the event of a Republican majority in the House. By any fair measure, the emerging portrait is bleak: GOP lawmakers would likely create a debt crisis, force government shutdowns, and help lead a legislative branch that struggles to complete “mundane tasks.”

But let’s not overlook the prospect of impeachment crises, which as the Times’ report suggested, seem all but inevitable if voters reward Republican lawmakers and candidates.

[A] Republican-led stream of impeachments, as some lawmakers have promised for the attorney general, the homeland security secretary, the education secretary and the president, could serve as an endless string of distractions for the executive branch.

One of those titles stood out because it’s relatively new: Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona has apparently been added to the GOP’s growing impeachment list.

National Review ran an item just last week on the idea of impeaching Cardona, and Kadia Goba reported yesterday that Republicans have “discussed” impeaching the Education secretary in response to the Biden administration’s student loan debt forgiveness policy.

With this in mind, let’s take stock of the White House cabinet and which of its members the GOP wants to impeach:

President Joe Biden: The incumbent Democrat hasn’t actually committed any high crimes, but Republicans have spent nearly all of his term talking about impeaching him. Such chatter has grown louder in recent weeks.

Attorney General Merrick Garland: Several GOP lawmakers have raised the prospect of impeaching the nation’s chief law enforcement official. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene even introduced a pending impeachment resolution against Garland, and it quickly picked up five co-sponsors. (Rep. Scott Perry also unveiled a similar resolution against the attorney general last year, and it has one co-sponsor.)

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas: House Republicans, apparently upset about immigration policies, are reportedly “laying the groundwork“ for impeaching the DHS chief. Referring to Mayorkas, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said in the spring, “This is his moment in time to do his job. But at any time if someone is derelict in their job, there is always the option of impeaching somebody.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken: For reasons that remain fuzzy, Republican Rep. Ralph Norman introduced an impeachment resolution last summer targeting the nation’s chief diplomat. Oddly enough, it currently has 14 co-sponsors.

Vice President Kamala Harris: Believe it or not, Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert introduced an impeachment resolution targeting Harris — I can’t begin to understand why — and it has two co-sponsors.

Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona: Though this effort apparently hasn’t moved beyond the discussion phase, Cardona is now apparently in the mix.

Revisiting our earlier coverage, it’s likely that none of these officials is overly concerned with their professional prospects. For one thing, there’s no guarantee that Republicans will take back the House. For another, even if they were all impeached as part of some kind of partisan stunt, it’s difficult to imagine the idea of 67 senators voting to remove them from office.

But when thinking about what a Republican majority might do with power handed to them by voters, it’s worth adding impeachment schemes to the list.

Postscript: For those wondering about the historical precedent, only one cabinet secretary has ever been impeached. In 1876, Secretary of War William Belknap was impeached — after leaving office — over alleged bribes. He was later acquitted by the Senate.