Trump Responds to First Republican to Call for Impeachment

May 19, 2019 Updated: May 19, 2019

President Donald Trump responded to Rep. Justin Amash on May 19, after the congressman from Michigan became the first Republican to call for Trump’s impeachment based on the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller.

In a pair of Twitter messages, the president pointed to the conclusions of the Mueller report and suggested that Amash is breaking ranks with his party to score political points.

“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,” Trump wrote.

“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?”

“Justin is a loser who sadly plays right into our opponents’ hands!” Trump concluded.

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.

In a series of what appear to be pre-written Twitter messages, Amash explained that he’s come 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 present sufficient evidence to bring an obstruction case before a court of law.

Kayleigh McEnany, the national press secretary for Trump’s re-election campaign, noted that Amash has broken ranks with the Republican Party on several occasions during Trump’s presidency, including his votes to oppose legislation to tackle the opioid crisis, against funds to prevent school violence, and rejecting a bill that would make targeted attacks on law enforcement officers a federal crime.

“Justin Amash belongs to the Justin Amash Party and has been a nominal member of the GOP for years. His latest move is not shocking as it is meant only to get attention,” Tim Murtaugh, the communications director for Trump’s re-election campaign, wrote on Twitter. “Every reporter covering Capitol Hill knows this. Any story not including this is a dishonest representation.”

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), arguably the most anti-Trump Republican in Congress, disagreed with Amash.

“Justin Amash has reached a different conclusion than I have,” Romney told CNN in a program aired on May 19. “I respect him. I think it’s a courageous statement, but I believe that to make the case for obstruction of justice, you just don’t have the elements.”

Follow Ivan on Twitter: @ivanpentchoukov
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