Members of the House Freedom Caucus voted Monday evening to condemn one of the group’s co-founders, Representative Justin Amash (R., Mich.) in response to his impeachment stand against President Trump.
Representative Jim Jordan, the ranking Republican on the Oversight Committee and former chairman of the Freedom Caucus, told Politico that the group easily passed the 80 percent threshold for the adoption of a formal position.
“It was every single person who totally disagrees with what he says,” Jordan said after the meeting, which Amash did not attend.
Amash broke ranks Saturday, becoming the first Republican to say publicly that the obstructive behavior attributed to Trump by special counsel Robert Mueller was impeachable.
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
In addition to the backlash he received from the Freedom Caucus, Amash’s impeachment stand prompted an immediate primary challenge from Michigan state representative Jim Lower, who told the Detroit Free Press on Monday that he planned to announce his bid in July, but felt compelled to speed up his timeline in the wake of Amash’s statements.
A number of top Republicans, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, have also condemned Amash’s lack of party loyalty. McCarthy noted Amash’s penchant for voting against the Republican party line and suggested he may no longer belong in the GOP caucus during a Sunday Fox News appearance. He did tell Politico, however, that Amash could retain his committee assignments.
President Trump similarly accused Amash of seeking to exploit the controversy surrounding the Mueller report for his own political gain.
….he would see that it was nevertheless strong on NO COLLUSION and, ultimately, NO OBSTRUCTION…Anyway, how do you Obstruct when there is no crime and, in fact, the crimes were committed by the other side? Justin is a loser who sadly plays right into our opponents hands!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 19, 2019
Amash, a libertarian-leaning conservative who has proven willing to split with his party on issue like Trump’s national emergency declaration, remains steadfast in his position despite the criticism.
“People who say there were no underlying crimes and therefore the president could not have intended to illegally obstruct the investigation—and therefore cannot be impeached—are resting their argument on several falsehoods,” he told Politico.