The dismissal appeal of Amash has a political price. How high?



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By Rebecca Shabad

WASHINGTON – Justin Amash's representative said Monday that President Donald Trump had committed impenetrable offenses, prompting increasing criticism from the GOP over the position of the Michigan Congressman – and questions about his political future. .

"Justin is a friend, but Justin is wrong, clearly, and his way of doing things is just as wrong," said Monday the representative of his colleague at Amash's Freedom Caucus, Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz. New.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Said Sunday that he thought his GOP colleague was only attracting attention.

"That's exactly what you expect from Justin. He has never supported the president. And I think it's just trying to get attention, "McCarthy said in an interview for Fox News. "I think he's only ever asked one question in every committee where he sat. He is voting more with Nancy Pelosi than he has ever voted with me. It's a question of knowing he's even in our Republican conference as a whole. "

Steve Scalise, House minority whip, told reporters at Capitol Hill Tuesday that Amash was "in the wrong" and that his reading of the Mueller report was "quite beside the grassroots".

Trump, meanwhile, sent Amash back on Sunday, calling him "lightweight" and "loser who unfortunately plays in the hands of our opponents!"

Back home, some of his constituents had harsh words to address to their congressman, the first GOP congressman, to assert that Trump had committed unseemable offenses, several issues raising his political future – and at the least a potential rival citing comments to launch. a major challenge.

In a series of tweets on Saturday, Amash said that after reading "carefully and completely" the report written by the special advocate Robert Mueller on the interference of Russia in the election In 2016, he concluded, among other things, that "Trump has engaged in specific actions and behavior that meets the threshold of indictment. "

Some of his constituents were not in agreement. "I think it's wrong," GBC party constituent Dustin Lienau told MSNBC on Monday at The Pancake House in Battle Creek, Michigan, in the 3rd congressional district, adding that he could "very well" vote against Amash next year because of his stance on dismissal.

Virginia Wolfe, a former Democrat, said Monday that Amash was free to say what he believed – she just did not agree and planned to vote against him.

"If that's what he believes, then you have to defend what you believe. D & # 39; right? I agree that he will do it, but I am convinced that I do not agree with him, "she said. "No matter who can do what he wants, everyone has the right to stand up for what he believes, but my opinion – I just think that they have to leave [Trump] do your job and things that happened in the past are in the past. "

On Monday, Amash's first official challenger for the 2020 GOP – Michigan State Representative Jim Lower, said in a statement that he was "pro-Trump, pro-life, pro-jobs, pro-2nd amendment, pro-family, republican values ​​". "- said the remarks of the congressman" show how disconnected he is from the truth and how disconnected he is from the people he represents. "

Amash continued to defend his position on Monday, tweeting that "serious crimes and petty offenses" that can be used as a basis for an indictment "do not require the corresponding legal charges." The context involves conduct that violates the public trust ".

Amash, 39, who identifies himself as a libertarian Republican, is considered one of the most conservative members of the House of Commons since 2011. more than 85 percent.

Despite his results, Amash is often seen as a special case within his own conference.

In February, he was one of 13 Republicans to join the 232 Democrats in favor of a bill to repeal Trump's declaration of urgency to build a border wall. A month later, he defected again and joined the Democrats in a vote to cancel the president's veto on this measure. And in December, Amash was one of eight Republicans to vote against a spending bill providing $ 5.7 billion in funding for the anti-border wall. According to FiveThirtyEight, Amash voted about 54% of the time with Trump during the first two years of his presidential term.

And he went further than most Democrats are willing to do publicly in his argument outlining the case for Trump's removal – including Pelosi, D-Calif.

The president's allies have long questioned Amash's loyalty to the party. In April 2017, Dan Scavino, senior adviser to the White House, tweeted that the congressman was a "big handicap" and urged people to "defeat him at the primary".

And Amash suggested for almost as long as it would not rule out impeachment. In May 2017, he told reporters that if former FBI director James Comey said that Trump was pressuring him to stop the investigation into the former security advisor national, Michael Flynn, was true, that would be grounds for dismissal.

Although he was not the only Republican lawmaker to criticize the president, this group has been drastically reduced to Congress, with the resignation, retirement or defeat of the president. former GOP members such as representatives Charlie Dent and Ryan Costello. Pennsylvania and Mark Sanford of South Carolina and Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona.

And his new post finds Amash alone.

Senator Mitt Romney, R-Utah, who has often made critical statements against the president, said that although Amash's statement is "brave," the Mueller report does not contain enough evidence to show that Trump obstructed justice.

"I also think that a dismissal appeal is not only a matter of law, but also takes into account the practicalities and politics," Romney told CNN on Sunday. "And the Americans are just not there. And I think those who are contemplating an impeachment must also look at the jury, which would be the Senate. The Senate is certainly not here either.

Bob Burgett, back in his district, said Monday that he appreciates Trump and disagrees with Amash's position, but that will not deter him from supporting him.

"I am always with Amash because, as I said, I love his honesty. I do not always agree with him, but he is honest and that's what I like, "he said. "I want someone who, if you want to serve people, I want him to be honest."

Brewster and Puskar reported to Battle Creek, Mich.

Shaquille Brewster and Samira Puskar contributed.

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