Despite being notified that the claims against Border Patrol agents were unfounded, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas publicly criticized them.
What’s going on right now?
According to emails obtained by the Heritage Foundation, Mayorkas received information from Marsha Espinosa, assistant secretary of DHS public affairs, that put doubt on the “whipping” story.
Espinosa specifically cited a news report in which Paul Ratje, the photographer responsible for the famed images, refuted the thesis. On September 24, 2021, at 12:05 PM, Espinosa wrote an email.
“Email confirms DHS Secretary Mayorkas was informed by DHS’ top public relations officer that the “whipping” story underlying the horseback BP images was untrue. However, at a WH news conference 2.5 hours later, he didn’t contradict that narrative and instead called the images “horrific.”
By 2:30 that afternoon, Mayorkas was advancing the demonstrably false story. At the White House press briefing, he said:
“Our entire nation witnessed horrible pictures that do not reflect who we are, who we want to be, or the integrity and ideals of our incredibly brave employees in the Department of Homeland Security,” the statement reads.
“The investigation into what took place is still ongoing. We are aware that those photos cruelly evoked the darkest aspects of the continuing struggle against structural racism in our country.”
Espinosa’s communication was furthermore sent barely two hours after Pres. Joe Biden threatened the Border Security personnel.
“What you saw was terrible. To witness such treatment of others.” On the morning of September 24, 2021, the president complained about “horses almost driving people over and people being tied. It’s ludicrous. I’ll make good on my word that they’ll pay. They will be looked into. There will be repercussions.”
How is the probe going?
A prompt probe into the mounted Border Patrol officers was promised by Mayorkas. But the inquiry is still ongoing over a year after the occurrence, Fox News said.
According to a review published in July by the Customs and Immigration Office of Professional Standards, Border Patrol officials did not actually “beat” Haitian migrants.
However, according to CBP, the inquiry uncovered “failures at many agency levels, a lack of adequate rules and instruction, and inappropriate and harmful actions by several individual officers.”
Following the disclosure of the email on Wednesday morning, Republican Legislators once again demanded Mayorkas’ resignation or impeachment.