On Tuesday, Congressman Matt Rosendale (MT-02) took a significant step in the House of Representatives by submitting articles of impeachment against U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd James Austin III.
After delivering the resolution, Rep. Rosendale released a statement via video.
“I just dropped off the resolution for the impeachment of Lloyd Austin, Secretary of Defense,” said Rosendale.
“It is House Resolution 951 that should be assigned to a committee and begin consideration so that he will have his day in court, as they say, and due process to consider and try and defend the national security problems that he has caused our country since his confirmation,” he added.
In a post, Rosendale wrote, “The pattern of misinformation and lies he has provided to the American people are a serious threat to our national security and cannot be tolerated. It is time to make a change.”
Just dropped off articles of impeachment against Defense Sec. Lloyd Austin.
The pattern of misinformation and lies he has provided to the American people are a serious threat to our national security and cannot be tolerated.
It is time to make a change. pic.twitter.com/2GZi2trSPD
— Matt Rosendale (@RepRosendale) January 10, 2024
The articles of impeachment accuse Secretary Austin of conduct that undermines his position and the honor of the United States by allegedly aiding its enemies.
The articles outlined the following points:
Lloyd James Austin III, in his conduct as Secretary of Defense, has acted contrary to the trust and duty of an Officer of the United States and has degraded the honor of the United States by providing aid to its enemies:
Secretary Austin took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, when he was sworn in as Secretary of Defense on January 22, 2021.
Secretary Austin failed to uphold his oath of office when he allowed a Chinese high-altitude balloon to fly over North American airspace unimpeded from January 28 to February 4, 2023:
(1) Secretary Austin’s failure to demolish or obstruct the balloon when it was first detected resulted in the balloon hovering over Malmstrom Air Force base, which is one of three U.S. military sites that houses intercontinental ballistic missiles.
(2) Secretary Austin failed to meet the duties of his office by either willfully ignoring available reports or failing to investigate the properties of an enemy balloon over U.S. military bases: in the months following the incident it was widely reported that the balloon had the ability to capture images and transmit signals despite initial statements from the Pentagon. Whether Secretary Austin knowingly or unknowingly allowed an enemy to collect data on U.S. military bases, his conduct proves him unfit for Office and shows a dereliction of duty.
(3) Despite the balloon being tracked by the Pentagon when it entered Montana air space on January 31, 2023, Secretary Austin did not order the balloon to be intercepted. Moreover, Secretary Austin did not organize a briefing for Members of Congress until the presence of a Chinese balloon was publicly reported and Secretary Austin has never spoken directly to the American people impacted.
(4) In the months to come, under the direction of Secretary Austin, Pentagon officials lied to the American people about the incident and the dangers posed to the United States. It was reported in December of 2023 that the Chinese balloon used a U.S. internet service provider to transmit data and that the Biden Administration intended to stay silent had American citizens not reported the balloon.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, 70, secretly had prostate cancer surgery on December 22, Walter Reed doctors revealed in a statement on Tuesday, adding Austin was placed under general anesthesia for the operation. The Pentagon said yesterday that Austin did not inform Joe Biden, the White House or Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks about the medical procedure. (Note: Austin was under general anesthesia for the Dec. 22 procedure but not when he was treated in the ICU after January 1.)
Austin was secretly taken back to the hospital by ambulance a week later on New Year’s Day in “severe pain” from complications from the cancer surgery where he then spent a week being treated in the Intensive Care Unit at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
Austin kept just about everyone in the dark about his condition until last week, including Joe Biden even though the U.S. is involved in conflicts in the Middle East and Europe and a hot zone in the South China Sea.
When asked if it is appropriate to file impeachment articles against Secretary Austin, given his recent diagnosis of prostate cancer, Congressman Rosendale responded by emphasizing the separation between the Secretary’s health issues and the charges against him.
“These articles of impeachment had been planned and brought forward for me to review, and this is just the first day that we were back in session where I was able to do so. But his current health condition set aside does not remove the violations of public trust and the endangerment that he placed the United States security under.”
Rep. Matt Rosendale was asked if now is the appropriate time to file articles of impeachment against Secretary Austin considering his recent prostate cancer diagnosis.
“His current health condition set aside does not remove the violations of public trust and the endangerment… pic.twitter.com/LBbPREzetY
— Ryan Schmelz (@RyanSchmelzFOX) January 9, 2024
President Trump posted a statement on Truth Social Sunday night calling on Joe Biden to fire Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin for “improper professional conduct and dereliction of duty.”
However, Joe Biden has no plans to fire Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, according to comments to reporters Monday morning by White House Press Secretary Karine Jean Pierre and National Security Council spokesman John Kirby.
Kirby said Biden “looks forward to having him back at the Pentagon as soon as possible” and that Biden “respects the fact that Secretary Austin took ownership for the lack of transparency. He also respects the amazing job he’s done as Defense Secretary…”