GOP congressman: 'President Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct'

Nicholas Wu

WASHINGTON – In a series of tweets Saturday afternoon, Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., came out in favor of impeaching President Donald Trump, making Amash the first Republican member of Congress to do so.

Amash, who represents Grand Rapids, Michigan, wrote that "President Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct" regarding obstruction of justice. 

The five-term lawmaker read the entire redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 election and then delivered his thoughts. The release of Mueller’s report has provoked debate over impeachment because it did not take a stance on whether Trump or his associates obstructed justice, instead laying out instances in which they potentially obstructed justice.  

Amash started his Twitter thread by accusing Attorney General William Barr of distorting the report's conclusions, writing: "In comparing Barr’s principal conclusions, congressional testimony, and other statements to Mueller’s report, it is clear that Barr intended to mislead the public about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s analysis and findings."

Amash went on to explain that Mueller's finding showed that Trump's actions during the investigation constituted obstruction of justice and would "meet the threshold for impeachment."

"In fact, Mueller’s report identifies multiple examples of conduct satisfying all the elements of obstruction of justice, and undoubtedly any person who is not the president of the United States would be indicted based on such evidence," Amash wrote. 

And in Amash's view, impeachment does not require that a crime has been committed. Instead, "it simply requires a finding that an official has engaged in careless, abusive, corrupt, or otherwise dishonorable conduct."

U.S Rep. Justin Amash, R-Cascade Township, speaks to the audience during a town hall meeting on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017 at the Full Blast Recreation Center in Battle Creek, Mich. (Carly Geraci/Kalamazoo Gazette-MLive Media Group via AP)

He concluded by criticizing partisanship in Congress and the effect that it has had on the body.

“Few members of Congress even read Mueller’s report; their minds were made up based on partisan affiliation—and it showed,” he wrote.

Impeachment debate: House Dems wrangle over whether to impeach Trump

Amash has been critical of the president and was one of 13 House Republicans to vote for a resolution to terminate Trump’s emergency declaration on border wall funding, a direct rebuke of the president’s border policies.

Additionally, he has also flirted with a third-party presidential bid as a Libertarian. In March, he told CNN that he had not entirely ruled out a Libertarian run for president.

"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," he said at the time.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: GOP congressman: 'President Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct'