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Republican Representative Matt Rosendale from Montana has voiced his intent to introduce articles of impeachment against Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, alleging “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Rosendale accused Austin of repeatedly violating his oath of office and putting American lives at risk, claiming that the defense chief’s actions have jeopardized national security.

The impeachment initiative centers on multiple grievances, notably citing a Chinese spy balloon flyover incident from last year, which Rosendale asserts Austin “lied” about on numerous occasions. He highlighted the recent episode where the Department of Defense delayed disclosing Austin’s hospitalization due to complications following an undisclosed medical procedure, labeling it as another instance of alleged dishonesty and a repeated pattern of behavior.

Further, Rosendale pointed to the chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal, which resulted in the death of 13 American soldiers and allowed unvetted migrants to enter the country. He also referenced a rape case involving an Afghan in Missoula as part of the broader argument against Austin’s fitness for the role of Secretary of Defense.

In response to Rosendale’s impeachment announcement, some GOP members, along with former President Donald Trump, have echoed calls for Austin’s resignation or termination due to the lack of transparency surrounding his hospital stay. This move has also garnered support from Democratic quarters, which emphasize the need for greater openness regarding Austin’s health situation.

Despite the mounting pressure, Austin released a statement acknowledging the concerns over transparency and took responsibility for his decisions on disclosure. The White House reiterated President Joe Biden’s confidence in Austin, indicating the President’s anticipation for Austin’s return to his duties at the Pentagon.

This move by Rosendale aligns with prior impeachment inquiries initiated by the GOP-led House against Biden focusing on corruption allegations and a separate set of impeachment proceedings against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over border security management. However, the outcomes of these endeavors and the likelihood of successful impeachment votes remain uncertain.