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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You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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