Michigan GOP Rep. Justin Amash said Saturday he had concluded President Donald Trump committed “impeachable conduct” and accused Attorney General William Barr of intentionally misleading the public.
Amash’s comments recommending Congress pursue obstruction of justice charges against Trump were the first instance of a sitting Republican in Congress calling for Trump’s impeachment.
Amash is a rare GOP critic of Trump and previously said Trump’s conduct in pressuring then-FBI Director James Comey could merit impeachment. In a Twitter thread on Saturday, Amash said he believed “few members of Congress even read” special counsel Robert Mueller’s report and that the report itself established “multiple examples” of Trump committing obstruction of justice.
“Contrary to Barr’s portrayal, Mueller’s report reveals that President Trump engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behavior that meet the threshold for impeachment,” Amash said in a string of messages on Twitter.
Here are my principal conclusions:
1. Attorney General Barr has deliberately misrepresented Mueller’s report.
2. President Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct.
3. Partisanship has eroded our system of checks and balances.
4. Few members of Congress have read the report.
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) May 18, 2019
While many Democrats have called for impeachment proceedings against Trump, many members of the GOP have agreed with Trump’s assertions about the Mueller report and defended his conduct. For his part, Barr said the report established no conspiracy between Trump and Russia and that he and then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein did not believe its findings sufficient to charge Trump with obstruction of justice.
Amash’s comments on Saturday with regard to impeachment went further than even many members of House Democratic leadership. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said last Thursday that “every day gives grounds for impeachment,” while at the same time arguing that she doesn’t want to impeach, though she did not rule out the possibility.
Amash — a libertarian conservative elected during the Tea Party wave of 2010 — was a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus, a key bloc of Republicans who worked to shift the GOP caucus to the right on many issues, but in the Trump era, he has found himself breaking with his conservative allies who have embraced the President.