Congressmen Mitt Romney and Kevin McCarthy were among the top Republicans responding to Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) after he called for President Donald Trump’s impeachment upon reading special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian meddling in the 2016 elections.
Amash took to Twitter over the weekend to claim that Mueller’s report presented enough evidence for impeachment despite the fact that the special counsel’s team was unable to establish evidence of conspiracy or cooperation between Trump’s campaign and Russia.
Mueller’s team avoided giving a traditional prosecutorial recommendation for obstruction, ultimately leaving it up to Attorney General William Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who not only found no collusion, but also that Trump did not obstruct Mueller. Barr also said Mueller couldn’t explain why he avoided the traditional decision.
Joining a slew of Democratic Congressmen and Congresswomen, Amash called for Trump’s impeachment while stating that “Mueller’s report reveals that President Trump engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behavior that meet the threshold for impeachment.”
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
“Mueller’s report identifies multiple examples of conduct satisfying all the elements of obstruction of justice, and undoubtedly any person who is not the president of the United States would be indicted based on such evidence,” Amash claimed.
“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.”
Amash did not cite specific portions of the report or what exactly he believes Trump did that warrants impeachment.
Many Republicans rushed to condemn Amash, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).
“You’ve got to understand Justin Amash. He’s been in Congress quite some time. I think he’s asked one question in all the committees that he’s been in. He votes more with Nancy Pelosi than he ever votes with me. It’s a question whether he’s even in our Republican conference as a whole,” McCarthy told Fox News.
“You could have a bill with 400 votes all supporting it, there will always be one opposed and that is Justin Amash,” McCarthy added, saying Amash “just wanted attention.”
Romney, the former presidential candidate who is one of the most outspoken critics of Trump on the Republican side, also disagreed with Amash.
“My own view is that Justin Amash has reached a different conclusion than I have. I respect him, I think it’s a courageous statement,” Romney told CNN.
“The American people just aren’t there. The Senate is certainly not there, either,” he added. “I just don’t think that there is the full element that you need to prove an obstruction of justice case. I don’t think impeachment is the right way to go.”
The president also responded to Amash, on Twitter: “Never a fan of Justin Amash, 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.”
“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 added.
“Anyway, how do you Obstruct when there is no crime and, in fact, the crimes were committed by the other side?”