House Republican Announces Bid To Impeach Defense Secretary Austin
US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin gives a statement at Ramstein Air Base, southwestern Germany, at the end of an in-person Ukraine Defence Contact Group meeting on September 19, 2023.
(Photo by AFP via Getty Images)

House Republicans could be on the verge of opening a third front of impeachment proceedings against top members of the Biden Administration.

Rep. Matt Rosendale’s (R-MT) office announced on Monday that the congressman plans to introduce one or more articles of impeachment for “high crimes and misdemeanors” against Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin when the chamber meets on Tuesday.

Austin “has violated his oath of office time and time again, and has jeopardized the lives of the American people,” Rosendale said in a statement, adding that the Cabinet official “knowingly put the American people in danger and compromised our national security.”

Rosendale cited the Chinese spy balloon flyover last year and insisted that recent reports show Austin “lied” about it multiple times. He said this “dishonesty seems to be a repeated pattern” with last Friday’s revelation that the Department of Defense waited days to disclose that Austin had been hospitalized for “complications following a recent elective medical procedure” that has yet to be disclosed.

“Furthermore, the Secretary failed to uphold his oath of office during the Biden Administration’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan which led to the death of 13 American soldiers and enabled unvetted migrants to flow into the United States,” Rosendale said before referencing a rape case involving an Afghan in Missoula.

Austin “is unfit for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, which is why I urge my colleagues to join me in impeaching him to protect the American people,” he concluded.

Some GOP lawmakers and former President Donald Trump have called for Austin to resign or be fired over the defense secretary’s secretive hospital stay. Others — including Democrats — have demanded more transparency.

Austin said in a statement over the weekend that he was on the mend and was taking “full responsibility for my decisions about disclosure.” White House officials told reporters on Monday that President Joe Biden “continues to have confidence” in Austin and looks forward to the secretary’s return to the Pentagon.

The GOP-led House already has initiated a corruption-focused impeachment inquiry against Biden. A committee is also set to begin impeachment proceedings against Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas over his handling of border security. It remains to be seen whether any of the endeavors result in a successful impeachment vote.

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