Lauren Windsor is a progressive activist known for catching Republican officials saying provocative things as part of hidden-camera interviews. As we’ve discussed, she often approaches important GOP figures, pretends to be an ally, makes supportive comments, and then records her targets making candid comments.
This week, Windsor released a new clip of a recent conversation with Rep. Dave Schweikert, and the video — which hasn’t been independently verified by MSNBC or NBC News — appears to show the Arizona Republican talking about “breaking up” the FBI.
But just as notable was the GOP congressman sharing his impeachment list:
“I have a couple of other ones I want to impeach first. [Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro] Mayorkas. The border. [FBI Director] Chris Wray’s #3 for me.”
In response to a follow-up question, Schweikert said “the secretary of state” is the other person he also wants to impeach.
The Republican congressman added that getting a two-thirds majority in the Senate — the necessary threshold to remove an official from office — would be “tough,” but the Arizonan boasted that “it only takes a simple majority in the House” to approve an impeachment resolution.
And with this in mind, it’s apparently time to update the big list of Who Republicans Want to Impeach After the Midterm Elections:
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 months.
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, as did Rep. Scott Perry, who also unveiled a similar resolution against the attorney general.
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. Schweikert, evidently, also has his eyes on Blinken.
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. The New York Times reported last month that “some” GOP lawmakers would like to impeach the education secretary.
FBI Director Chris Wray: Though this is certainly a new one, Schweikert’s behind-the-scenes comments suggest the FBI director handpicked by Donald Trump might face some kind of impeachment pushback if voters hand Republicans a House majority.
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 the GOP will take back the House. For another, as Schweikert conceded, 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 definitely 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.