- Republican Rep. Justin Amash called for President Donald Trump’s impeachment on Saturday and accused Attorney General William Barr of misrepresenting the Russia investigation findings.
- Amash tweeted that he believes Trump’s actions “meet the threshold for impeachment” and he likely would have been indicted on obstruction of justice charges had he not been president.
- Amash added that few members of Congress have even read the special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, merely echoing the party line in their defenses and criticisms of Trump.
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Republican Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan laid out in a stunning Twitter thread posted Saturday why he believes President Donald Trump “engaged in impeachable conduct,” and Attorney General William Barr “deliberately misrepresented” the findings of the special counsel’s Russia investigation.
Amash tweeted that he came to the conclusions “only after having read [Robert] Mueller’s redacted report carefully and completely” and reviewing relevant testimony and materials. He added that “few members of Congress have read the report.”
Amash, a frequent Trump critic, is the first Republican lawmaker to call for Trump’s impeachment. Though a number of Democrats have also called for impeachment, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her fellow Democratic leaders have been reluctant to make a move.
Republicans, meanwhile, have largely defended Trump’s conduct and even echoed Trump’s claims that the Russia investigation was a “witch hunt” launched on unfair premises.
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
But Amash said that despite Barr’s portrayal of the Mueller report, Trump’s actions “meet the threshold for impeachment” and he likely would have been indicted on obstruction of justice charges, had he not been president.
He added that he didn’t view a criminal indictment or conviction as necessary grounds for impeachment – more so “conduct that violates the public trust.”
“Impeachment, which is a special form of indictment, does not even require probable cause that a crime (e.g., obstruction of justice) has been committed; it simply requires a finding that an official has engaged in careless, abusive, corrupt, or otherwise dishonorable conduct,” he said.
He continued: “While impeachment should be undertaken only in extraordinary circumstances, the risk we face in an environment of extreme partisanship is not that Congress will employ it as a remedy too often but rather that Congress will employ it so rarely that it cannot deter misconduct.”
Amash’s tweets quickly sparked backlash among some Republicans. The Republican National Committee chairwoman, Ronna McDaniel, said in a statement it was “sad to see Congressman Amash parroting the Democrats’ talking points on Russia.”
She continued: “Voters in Amash’s district strongly support this President, and would rather their Congressman work to support the President’s policies that have brought jobs, increased wages and made life better for Americans.”
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