May 18, 2019
Republican Lawmaker Breaks With Party, Says Trump 'Has Engaged In Impeachable Conduct'

In a series of Twitter messages posted on Saturday, Republican Representative Justin Amash blasted President Donald Trump, Attorney General William Barr, and his Republican colleagues, becoming the first Republican lawmaker to publicly suggest that Trump has "engaged in impeachable conduct."

Amash wrote a 13-tweet thread, explaining why he disagrees with virtually every other Republican politician in the country.

The Michigan representative explained that he had "carefully and completely" read Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report, and -- following consultation with members of his staff -- made four principal conclusions.

According to Amash:

  • "Attorney General Barr has deliberately misrepresented Mueller's report."
  • "President Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct."
  • "Partisanship has eroded our system of checks and balances."
  • "Few members of Congress have read the report."
The Republican representative added that he had not only read the Mueller report, but also watched related testimonies and reviewed additional materials pertaining to the probe. Echoing House Democrats, Amash blasted Barr, stating that the attorney general had "mislead" the public about Mueller's findings.

Amash described Barr's "misinterpretations" as "significant but often subtle," suggesting that the attorney general had hoped that the American people would not notice his spin.

Furthermore, Barr's summary of the Mueller report does not suggest that Trump committed impeachable offenses, but the special counsel's full report does, according to the Republican lawmaker, who said that the president's behavior "meets the threshold of impeachment" as it is defined in the U.S. Constitution.

The Michigan Republican pointed out that the Constitution does not even require probable cause, but simply defines dishonorable conduct as impeachable.

Amash concluded the thread by arguing that members of both parties need to remain principled, and oppose dishonorable and corrupt behavior at all times, regardless of which party the perpetrator hails from.

The Republican drew a parallel between his party's behavior during the Bill Clinton impeachment trials and now in the Trump era, while condemning members of Congress for not reading the entire Mueller report.

"America's institutions depend on officials to uphold both the rules and spirit of our constitutional system even when to do so is personally inconvenient or yields a politically unfavorable outcome," he wrote.

It remains to be seen how President Trump and other Republicans will react to Justin Amash's Twitter thread, but if it is to judge by the behavior displayed since 2016, the libertarian-leaning representative will likely be condemned.

The general consensus in Washington appears to be that Donald Trump has remade the Republican Party in his own image.

Publications from across the political spectrum -- from The Wall Street Journal, over New York Magazine, to National Review and The New York Times -- have all suggested that the Republican Party has indeed become the party of Donald Trump.