Michigan Congressman Justin Amash leaves the conservative Freedom Caucus less than a month after being the first Republican in Congress to call for President Trump’s impeachment. He is the sole Republican congressman to publicly believe that Trump committed offenses that are impeachable.
He released a statement to CNN after leaving the caucus, saying “I have the highest regard for them and they’re my close friends. I didn’t want to be a further distraction for the group.”
Ever since Robert Mueller’s controversial press conference ending the Special Counsel investigation, there have certainly been mixed reactions. Amash unleashed a series of tweets after the press conference, agreeing with many house democrats that impeachment was a possibility. This shocked many, because Amash is one of the most conservative members of Congress.
After he publicly called for Trump’s impeachment, Amash received criticism from his own party for his break with the president. Even Republicans who have disagreed with Trump like Mitt Romney are still backing him through these accusations. Senator Romney said Amash is courageous, but there aren’t grounds for impeachment, “I respect him. I think it’s a courageous statement. But I believe to make a case for obstruction of justice, you just don’t have the elements that are evidenced in this document.”
With Amash’s break with most Republicans on impeachment, it has caused a primary challenger to attempt to unseat him. Michigan state Rep. Jim Lower has decided to challenge Congressman Amash in Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District. “He must be replaced, and I am going to do it.” Because Trump’s support among Republicans has stayed high, this could potentially cause problems for Amash. But the Congressman actually received a standing ovation at a town hall for opposing the president. This feat surely boosted his confidence going into his 2020 fight with Lower.