Would anything have changed in House Republicans' impeachment attempt against Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas if Representative George Santos (R-NY) remained? Representative Byron Donalds (R-FL) told The Floridian that many Republicans regret removing Rep. Santos, saying, "We just shot ourselves in the foot," yet remained confident more Republicans will vote in favor of impeaching Mayorkas next time.
"It was a bad vote when we did it. Made no sense at all," said Rep. Donalds, pointing out that "this guy named [Senator] Bob Menendez (D-NJ), he still seems to be in the United States Senate for some reason. We just shot ourselves in the foot."
By contrast, Representative Aaron Bean (R-FL) told The Floridian that while "we all wish we had a greater majority," and expansion will be a goal this year, "it is easy to armchair quarterback."
"I voted how I voted there, but we have to look forward. That is looking back, and what we are going to do is put that energy into looking forward and growing that majority," Rep. Bean added.
Rep. Santos was expelled in December with 311 in favor to 114 opposed on grounds of embezzling campaign funds for personal use. Those who voted against, including Rep. Donalds, said the expulsion vote should have occurred after Santos received a conviction in court. Additionally, others pointed out an apparent double standard in Sen. Menendez not facing an expulsion vote for a similar offense. However, Senator John Fetterman (D-PA) argued Menendez's case was "more sinister."
"I am not finding fault with the Ethics Committee or their report. What I am finding fault with is that our members have forgotten that everybody is afforded due process under a law, and not due process under the Ethics Committee. That is my concern," Donalds said in December.
More recently, four House Republicans voted against impeaching Secretary Mayorkas, leaving the final result 216 against and 214 in favor. Nevertheless, Donalds said he was "confident" Republicans would gain the votes in favor back in a future attempt.