Republican Representative Justin Amash of Michigan was greeted with enthusiastic applause at a town hall meeting on Tuesday in which he outlined his support for initiating impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, Talking Points Memo reports. As so far the only voice in the Republican Party advocating for impeachment, Amash addressed the substantial contentions issue in his opening remarks at the Grand Rapids event.
“It’s really important that we do our job as a Congress, that we not allow misconduct to go undeterred,” he said.
“That we not just say, someone can violate the public trust and that there are no consequences to it.”
The crowd cheered in response.
Amash has been vocal and quite clear in his case for impeaching Trump on the basis of the fallout following the public release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. It was on May 18 that Amash made headlines with his initial declaration that the president had “engaged in impeachable conduct.”
Since breaking with his party through that initial statement, Amash has since taken to Twitter to explain his case, tweeting multiple threads on the issue.
In one particularly salient series of tweets, Amash opened up with his central premise that obstruction of justice is indeed possible even if there is no proof of an underlying crime and then clearly enumerated each piece of his argument, one tweet at a time.
“People who say there were no underlying crimes and therefore the president could not have intended to illegally obstruct the investigation—and therefore cannot be impeached—are resting their argument on several falsehoods,” he said, before breaking down the details of his argument.
70 minutes before doors open at Amash town hall pic.twitter.com/fR8bA2xYVr— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) May 28, 2019
As also reported by Talking Points Memo, Trump has not taken Amash’s divergence from the party line lightly, calling the congressman out in his own series of tweets which describe him as a “loser” and a “total lightweight.” Trump in his tweets accused Amash of, in this case and others, breaking with his own party simply for the sake of generating controversy and personal publicity.
“[H]ow do you Obstruct when there is no crime and, in fact, the crimes were committed by the other side?” Trump asked, teeing up the argument that would be so specifically rebutted by Amash.
In any case, according to NBC News correspondent Leigh Anne Caldwell, Amash was welcomed to the town hall with a standing ovation when he walked into the room.
“.@justinamash got a standing ovation when he walked into his first town hall since he came out in support of impeachment,” she tweeted.