Libertarian-leaning Republican Justin Amash recently made headlines when he became the first member of his party to call for the impeachment of President Donald Trump. Amash’s calls for impeachment largely centered on the actions outlined in Robert Mueller’s report into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
But Fox News reports that fellow libertarian-leaning Republican Rand Paul used his appearance on the network’s America’s Newsroom to voice his disagreement with Amash’s stance. Paul called the Russia investigation inherently “un-libertarian,” and said that the powers used in the FBI counterintelligence probe — FISA surveillance in particular — are prime examples of government abuse.
“I see an abuse of power from Comey, Clapper, Brennan, from all these guys.”
“I think they took this great power we entrusted with them to spy on foreigners and they directed it against Americans for partisan reasons,” he added.
“So, I think this has to be investigated and I think it’s wrong for any Republican to think, ‘Oh gosh, this is a legitimate investigation.’ I think it’s a very partisan investigation.”
Most recently, Amash took to Twitter to criticize Trump’s decision to impose a 5 percent tariff on all goods coming into the U.S. from Mexico, suggesting that Congress is failing in its duties by allowing the president to unilaterally raise taxes on American citizens. Amash also recently blasted Attorney General William Barr for his handling of the Mueller report, saying that Barr “deliberately misrepresented” the findings, as The Inquisitr previously reported.
The Hill reports that Paul is close with the president, and has supported Trump’s desire to remove United States troops from the Middle East. He is reportedly alarmed by the recent mobilization of U.S. combat troops in response to perceived threat from Iran, and called national security adviser John Bolton a “malign influence.”
“I fear that he’s a malignancy, a malignant influence on the administration.”
Paul suggests that Bolton is a part of a group of administration officials who are pushing Trump to go to war with Iran. After acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan proposed a military plan to Trump — one gesturing towards troop deployment to the Middle East — Paul suggested that people may overreact to the plan, and get the U.S. into a an ill-advised war.
The Kentucky senator also suggested that warnings of potential attacks from Iran — or Iranian-backed forces — could stem from responses to an increased U.S. presence in the Middle East — not to overt acts of war.
“Iran knows you don’t start a war with the United States.”