Michigan Republican Rep. Justin Amash resigned from the House Freedom Caucus Monday, citing his efforts to not be “a further distraction for the group.”
“I have the highest regard for [the caucus], and they’re my close friends,” Amash, who is a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus and the lone Republican of the group to call for impeaching the president, told CNN. “I didn’t want to be a further distraction for the group.”
The libertarian congressman’s decision comes in the wake of a series of tweets last month accusing President Donald Trump of having committed “impeachable offenses.”
“Here are my principal conclusions,” Amash, an outspoken GOP critic of the president, wrote on Twitter last month. “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.”
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
“Contrary to Barr’s portrayal, Mueller’s report reveals that President Trump engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behavior that meet the threshold for impeachment,” Amash continued.
The Michigan lawmaker’s stand likely alienated him from many of his Republican colleagues. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul called the Mueller Report itself the “antithesis of libertarianism” when discussing Amash’s position. GOP chairwoman Ronna McDaniel accused him of “parroting the Democrats’ talking points on Russia.”
Amash told Freedom Caucus members about his decision at a board meeting Monday night, CNN reported.
“It was a positive meeting. It wasn’t negative,” he told CNN.
CNN reported that Amash “emphasized his decision was voluntary and that he remains on good terms with his colleagues.”