Republicans Are Denouncing Justin Amash’s Call to Impeach Trump. He’s Not Backing Down.

The Michigan congressman already faces a new primary challenger.

Bill Clark/ZUMA

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On Saturday, Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) became the first Republican in Congress to declare that President Donald Trump’s conduct in office had reached the “threshold for impeachment.” Since he made the bold statement, the president has already labelled Amash a “loser,” and the congressman’s judgement has been dismissed by top Republicans eager to undercut the importance of his announcement.

“This is exactly what he wants, he wants to have attention,” House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy told Fox News. He also claimed that Amash’s libertarian-leaning, conservative voting record was more aligned with Nancy Pelosi’s agenda than that of the Republican party. 

By Monday morning, the Michigan Republican was facing a newly-announced primary challenge from Jim Lower, a Trump-supporting GOP member of Michigan’s state house.

Amash is so far holding his ground in the face of fresh criticism from his Republican colleagues, and the new electoral threat. On Monday, Amash took to social media to outline why he believed Trump’s defenders are misguided to defend him from charges of obstructing justice:

He continued by dismantling other popular arguments against initiating impeachment proceedings, including the false assertion that “high crimes and misdemeanors” required a statutory crime.

It’s unlikely that any explanation Amash provides will spark a watershed moment for the Republican party. But his rare, clearly well-thought-out remarks have renewed speculation that he may seek to challenge Trump as the Libertarian party’s 2020 nominee. “I would never rule anything out,” Amash told Jake Tapper in March. 

“That’s not on my radar right now, but I think that it is important that we have someone in there who is presenting a vision for America that is different from what these two parties are presenting.”

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WHO DOESN’T LOVE A POSITIVE STORY—OR TWO?

“Great journalism really does make a difference in this world: it can even save kids.”

That’s what a civil rights lawyer wrote to Julia Lurie, the day after her major investigation into a psychiatric hospital chain that uses foster children as “cash cows” published, letting her know he was using her findings that same day in a hearing to keep a child out of one of the facilities we investigated.

That’s awesome. As is the fact that Julia, who spent a full year reporting this challenging story, promptly heard from a Senate committee that will use her work in their own investigation of Universal Health Services. There’s no doubt her revelations will continue to have a big impact in the months and years to come.

Like another story about Mother Jones’ real-world impact.

This one, a multiyear investigation, published in 2021, exposed conditions in sugar work camps in the Dominican Republic owned by Central Romana—the conglomerate behind brands like C&H and Domino, whose product ends up in our Hershey bars and other sweets. A year ago, the Biden administration banned sugar imports from Central Romana. And just recently, we learned of a previously undisclosed investigation from the Department of Homeland Security, looking into working conditions at Central Romana. How big of a deal is this?

“This could be the first time a corporation would be held criminally liable for forced labor in their own supply chains,” according to a retired special agent we talked to.

Wow.

And it is only because Mother Jones is funded primarily by donations from readers that we can mount ambitious, yearlong—or more—investigations like these two stories that are making waves.

About that: It’s unfathomably hard in the news business right now, and we came up about $28,000 short during our recent fall fundraising campaign. We simply have to make that up soon to avoid falling further behind than can be made up for, or needing to somehow trim $1 million from our budget, like happened last year.

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