The contract, signed with New York-based firm Debevoise & Plimpton, comes a week after a second article of impeachment was filed by Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) and represents a change in approach for an agency that had previously not assigned any staff to the topic.
“The DHS has retained outside counsel to help ensure the DHS´s vital mission is not interrupted by the unprecedented, unjustified, and partisan impeachment efforts by some Members of Congress, who have already taken steps to initiate proceedings,” a DHS spokesperson said in a statement.
Republicans have yet to take any action on the resolutions, but House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and other Republican leaders have pledged what could be lengthy investigations ahead of an eventual impeachment.
DHS has any staff on hand with expertise in such a matter, an agency official told The Hill, and said the scale of legal assistance needed will depend on how the GOP decides to proceed with its probe. Still, the department declined to outline other financial details of the retainer.
The Republicans leading the charge to impeach Mayorkas have accused him of lying to Congress when he’s asserted to lawmakers that DHS has maintained operational control over the border.
Biggs held a forum this week at the Heritage Foundation to discuss the potential impeachment.
But he’s facing some resistance from within his own party, largely from fellow Mayorkas critics who feel it’s essential to launch a thorough investigation of the secretary through committees of jurisdiction before such a matter proceeds to the House floor.