Republican Rep. Justin Amash Gets Primary Challenger After Calling for Trump’s Impeachment

By Zachary Stieber

Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) faces a Republican challenger after calling for President Donald Trump’s impeachment.

Amash is the first Republican Congressman to call for Trump’s impeachment, which his new challenger, state Rep. Jim Lower, is sure to use against him.

Lower said he’d been planning to challenge Amash but was going to wait to announce his challenge until close to July 4 before Amash’s recent remarks.

He described himself as “pro-Trump.”

“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 announcement, reported the Detroit Free Press. “He must be replaced and I am going to do it.”

Lower has held the state seat for two terms while Amash was elected in 2010 and re-elected three times. He ran unopposed in 2018 in the Republican primary before winning 54 percent of the vote in the general election. He also appeared to run unopposed in 2016 before winning nearly 60 percent of the vote in the general election. In 2014, he beat primary challenger Brian Ellis with 57 percent of the vote before getting 58 percent of the vote in the general election.

Lower told the Daily News that he used to support Amash, even working on his campaign, but doesn’t any longer.

“I was like, I can’t let this go by without commenting on it. It’s not every day your Congressman says your president should be impeached,” Lower said. “His voting record shows how out of touch he is with his constituents,” Lower said. “Had I been the congressman from the 3rd District, I would have voted the exact opposite of Amash on each and every one of these votes.”

Attorney General William Barr
Attorney General William Barr speaks about the release of the redacted version of the Mueller report as Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (R) and Acting Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General Ed O’Callaghan listen at the Department of Justice in Washington on April 18, 2019. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Amash stirred up controversy on both sides of the political spectrum on May 18 by accusing Attorney General William Barr of deliberately misrepresenting the special counsel’s report, accusing Trump of engaging in impeachable conduct, and more or less suggesting that the president should be impeached.

Amash said that he came to his conclusions after reading the Mueller report.

“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.

Barr released a redacted version of the Mueller report in April. The report stated there is no evidence to establish that Trump or anyone in his campaign colluded with Russia. Mueller also didn’t charge the president with obstruction of justice. Upon reviewing the report, Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein concluded that Mueller didn’t find sufficient evidence to bring an obstruction case before a court of law.

President Trump awaits arrival of Swiss Federal President Maurer
President Donald Trump awaits the arrival of Swiss Federal President Ueli Maurer at the White House in Washington on May 16, 2019. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

After Amash’s statement, Lower said in a Facebook post that “this cannot go unchallenged! I support West Michigan values, I support Donald J. Trump, I support our party’s values.”

He also shared a post by Laura Cox, the Michigan GOP’s chairwoman.

“While President Trump’s leadership has led to the strongest economy in a generation, Justin Amash has opposed his ‘America First’ agenda every step of the way,” Cox wrote. “Now in a desperate attempt to grab headlines and advance his own presidential ambitions, Amash is peddling a narrative that has repeatedly been proven false. Shameful.”

Epoch Times reporter Ivan Pentchoukov contributed to this report.