The House Freedom Caucus unanimously voted to denounce Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) after Amash claimed to have found evidence in special counsel Robert Mueller’s report of wrongdoing by President Donald Trump and called for the president’s impeachment.
House Oversight Committee ranking member Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said that all 30 of the caucus members at its weekly meeting on May 20 voted to condemn Amash.
“We had a good discussion and every single member, I think now based on who was there and our board meeting was probably over 30 members, every single member disagrees and strongly with the position Justin took over the week, and we’re focused on the now,” Jordan told reporters after the meeting, according to The Hill.
“I mean, look, we’re focused on the fact that what the FBI did was wrong. We think that [Attorney General William] Barr’s handled himself exactly the way the American people want the attorney general to handle themselves, and he’s going to get to bottom of all this.”
There was no vote on removing Amash from the caucus. One of its founding members, Amash, has attended few meetings this year.
“What concerns me is Justin was viewed as a leader, right, on protecting privacy rights first to First Amendment rights,” Jordan added. He and other members expressed surprise on Amash’s previous shift from voicing concerns about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to apparently supporting its use to target Trump.
Amash claimed that Barr purposely misrepresented Mueller’s report and said Trump engaged in conduct that was impeachable, the first Republican to align with the Democrats who want to see the president removed from office.
“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 wrote.
Mueller said in his report that his team could not establish cooperation or collusion between Trump and Russia. His team avoided the traditional prosecutorial recommendation on obstruction, which Barr said was unusual.
Trump denounced Amash a day after his comments, writing on May 19 that the representative is “a total lightweight who opposes me and some of our great Republican ideas and policies just for the sake of getting his name out there through controversy.”
….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
“If he actually read the biased Mueller Report, ‘composed’ by 18 Angry Dems who hated Trump, he would see that it was nevertheless strong on NO COLLUSION and, ultimately, NO OBSTRUCTION,” the president continued. “Anyway, how do you Obstruct when there is no crime and, in fact, the crimes were committed by the other side?”
Along with condemnation by the House Freedom Caucus, Amash is now facing a Republican challenger for the first time since 2014.
State Rep. Jim Lower said he’s going to run against Amash, who was first elected in 2010.
“Congressman Justin Amash tweets yesterday calling for President Trump’s impeachment show how out of touch he is with the truth and how out of touch he is with people he represents,” Lower said in the campaign announcement, reported the Detroit Free Press. “He must be replaced and I am going to do it.”