(Bethany Blankley, The Center Square) U.S. Rep. Cory Mills, R-Florida, made good on his promise earlier this year to file articles of impeachment against Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. On Friday, he filed one article of impeachment against Austin alleging high crimes and misdemeanors.
Mills appears to be the first to file an article of impeachment against a Defense secretary in U.S. history.
“High-level officials in this administration blatantly ignored intel that Americans and our allied partners in Kabul would be left behind in harm’s way unless the U.S. corrected course in our withdrawal” from Afghanistan, Mills, a veteran of the U.S. Army, said. “As a result, nearly 200 people, including 13 American service members, were murdered at Abbey Gate in Kabul, Afghanistan two years ago.
“Because of this clear dereliction of duty, today I am introducing articles of impeachment for Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. It’s not enough for Congress to hold committee hearings. We must start taking real action to address the complete failure of this administration.”
He filed a House resolution on Friday citing the article, one day before August 26, which “marks two years to the day that we lost 13 of our brave service members. The fact that it has been two entire years without any member of this administration being held accountable is unfathomable. That changes today.”
Article One states “Dereliction of duty resulting in abandonment of Americans in Afghanistan. In his role as Secretary of Defense, and in violation of his constitutional oath to defend and secure our country and uphold the Constitution, taken on January 22, 2021, Lloyd James Austin III engaged in high crimes and misdemeanors through his dereliction of his duties and intentional abandonment of Americans in Afghanistan.”
The impeachment resolution cites events that occurred on July 1, 2021, at Bagram Air Base under Austin’s direction, including freeing from prison a Taliban and ISIS terrorist who detonated a bomb outside of Hamid Karzai International Airport, which killed 13 American service members.
Because of Austin’s conduct, the resolution states, he’s “forsaken his sworn duties to the United States of America, its national security, and its people and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with the Constitution” warranting “impeachment and trial and removal from office.”
Mills previously told Austin he’d drafted articles of impeachment against him at a House Armed Services Committee hearing in March.
Austin replied by saying, “The congressman is certainly entitled to his opinion.” He then looked at Mills and said, “We all thank you for your service. I don’t take a back bench when it comes to patriotism, devotion to our cause here, protection to our troops.”
Austin told Mills he “commanded Bagram Airforce Base so I know a little bit about Bagram Airforce Base. But again, you’re welcome to your opinion and so I’ll leave it at that.”
The White House and the DOD have yet to issue a response.
Mills is the second Republican congressman from Florida to file articles of impeachment this month. Two weeks ago, US Rep. Greg Steube, R-Florida, filed four articles of impeachment against President Joe Biden.