Two GOP Congressmen Suggest Trump May Have Committed Impeachable Offense

Trump’s Russia scandal just keeps getting worse.

Jeff Malet/Zuma


For the first time, Republican members of Congress have gone on record suggesting that one of the scandals engulfing President Donald Trump could be an impeachable offense. Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) said Wednesday that if Trump did indeed ask former FBI Director James Comey to drop the bureau’s investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, then that would constitute grounds for impeachment, according to the Hill’s Cristina Marcos.

Amash’s comments follow Tuesday night’s bombshell New York Times report that in a private February meeting with Comey in the Oval Office, Trump allegedly told the then-FBI chief: “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go.” Comey, according to the Times’ sources, was uncomfortable with the exchange and documented it in a contemporaneous memo that he shared with just a few senior FBI and Department of Justice officials. Comey reportedly produced a series of memos detailing his various interactions with Trump.

The White House has denied that Trump asked Comey to end the Flynn investigation. Amash told reporters Wednesday that he thinks “it’s pretty clear” that he has more confidence in Comey than he has in Trump, according to Marcos.

Amash was actually the second Republican lawmaker to suggest that Trump’s alleged effort to shut down the Flynn probe could be an impeachable offense. “Any effort to stop the federal government from conducting an investigation, any effort to dissuade federal agents from proceeding with an investigation, is very serious and could be construed as obstruction of justice,” said Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) on CNN Tuesday night. He added, “Obstruction of justice—in the case of Nixon, in the case of Clinton in the late 90s—has been considered an impeachable offense.”*

Other Republicans have voiced significant concern with what Trump allegedly did. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Tuesday night that the situation was “reaching the point where it’s of Watergate size and scale.” Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who chairs the House oversight committee, said in a Tuesday night tweet that he has his “subpoena pen ready” and was asking the administration to turn over the Comey memos. Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), said he’s “no Comey fan” but added, “I won’t defend anyone who obstructs justice.”

Amash’s statements come the same day that Democratic Rep. Al Green (Texas) called for Trump’s impeachment during a speech on the House floor:

* Correction: Due to an editing error, this article previously stated that Amash was the first Republican to suggest that Trump’s alleged actions could be grounds for impeachment. Following publication, a spokeswoman for Curbelo contacted Mother Jones to point out that “Congressman Curbelo was actually the first Republican to mention impeachment.”

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.