Comer Slams Mayorkas for Preventing Chief Border Patrol Agents’ Testimony on Biden’s Border Crisis

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By NTD Newsroom
January 29, 2023Border Security
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Comer Slams Mayorkas for Preventing Chief Border Patrol Agents’ Testimony on Biden’s Border Crisis
Committee Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.) speaks during a House Oversight Committee hearing at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington on Dec. 14, 2022. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has refused to allow chief Border Patrol agents to testify at an upcoming hearing on the border crisis. The move sparked heavy criticism from House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.).

Comer on Jan. 27 called on the Border Patrol agents in four sectors along the southern border to testify on current on-goings at the border before they were subsequently blocked by Mayorkas.

“On January 19, 2023, I invited the Chief Patrol Agents of four U.S. Border Patrol sectors to testify at a hearing before the Committee on Oversight and Accountability the week of February 6, 2023. As I wrote in those invitations, ‘This hearing will examine the crisis on the southwest border and will enable Members of the Committee to obtain essential information based on [those Chief Patrol Agents] experience leading Border Patrol operations’ in those four sectors, “ Comer wrote in an official government press release.

“Yet, instead of working to facilitate the testimony of those law enforcement professionals, the Department of Homeland Security is refusing to permit the four invited Chief Patrol Agents to appear and provide live testimony at a Committee hearing. DHS is obstructing congressional oversight,” Comer added.

According to Comer, this could result in subpoenas—or other obligatory quota—in order to exact the testimonies.

The committee chairman had called on Chief Patrol Agents Jason Owens, Gregory Bovino, Gloria Chavez, and Patricia McGurk-Daniel to testify at the hearing, which is scheduled for Feb. 7.

A subsequent investigation is to be launched into the Biden administration’s handling of the border crisis, which has been described by observers as the worst in American history.

Additionally, Comer requested associated documents and information from Mayorkas, as well as communications, to determine the extent by which efforts to secure the border were neglected by the DHS.

“DHS pays lip service to its own internal protocols in making this determination, and even argues that it is DHS’s prerogative—not Congress’s—to determine for congressional committees who would be an appropriate witness. DHS’s internal protocols are not binding on Congress, and it is irrelevant whether DHS disagrees with the Committee’s determination that these four law enforcement professionals should testify at a Committee hearing, “ the press release continues.

Comer added that the arguments advanced by DHS would render most federal officials in the Executive Branch completely immune from providing essential information to Congress.

“It is unfortunate that you are trying to prevent the American people from hearing candid and truthful testimony of U.S. Border Patrol Chief Patrol Agents. This is necessary oversight, which you and your Department are attempting to block,” he continued to say.

Comer reiterated his request for testimonies from the four Border Patrol Agents and asked for confirmation of their attendance by 5 p.m. on Jan. 31. Failing this, he said that he would be forced to consider using Congress’s compulsory process.

The disagreement could lay a precedent for future disputes, as the recently-elected Republican House majority is more likely to probe the Biden administration’s policies and actions over the Democrat majority of the previous two years.

Two weeks ago, senior House Republicans sought to build a case against Mayorkas. Formal proceedings could be initiated by the House Judiciary Committee, depending on the consensus within the GOP conference.

An initial impeachment resolution brought forward by House Republicans has already garnered significant support.

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