Republican congressman breaks ranks and calls for Donald Trump's impeachment

David Millward
Justin Amash calls for Donald Trump's impeachment - Kalamazoo Gazette

 A Republican congressman has broken ranks with the party and called for Donald Trump's impeachment.

Justin Amash of Michigan, who is reportedly considering running against the President next year, said Mr Trump had engaged in conduct which met the threshold for impeachment.

Mr Amash also accused the US attorney general, William Barr, of wilfully misleading Congress over the contents of Robert Mueller's report into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

His attack was dismissed by Mr Trump who dismissed Mr Amash  as a "total lightweight."

Mr Amash also angered conservatives in his home state, with one Trump supporter threatening to challenge him in next year's congressional elections.

The Congressman's intervention, on Twitter, came as the Democrats remained divided on whether to push for Mr Trump's impeachment.

It is backed by left-wingers including presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren and opposed by moderates led by Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Mr Amash, a libertarian and a long-standing critic of Mr Trump, is one of 14 GOP Congressmen who refused to support the use of emergency powers to push through funding for a Mexican border wall.

The congressman attacked Mr Barr's summary of the Mueller report which Mr Trump claimed was "a complete and total exoneration."

Mr Amash tweeted: "Barr's misrepresentations are significant but often subtle, frequently taking the form of sleight-of-hand qualifications or logical fallacies, which he hopes people will not notice.

"Under our Constitution, the president 'shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanours.' 

"While 'high Crimes and Misdemeanors' is not defined, the context implies conduct that violates the public trust.

"Contrary to Barr's portrayal, Mueller's report reveals that President Trump engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behaviour that meet the threshold for impeachment."

While impeachment should only be undertaken in extraordinary circumstances, he added, there was a danger that Congress would use it so rarely that it would not deter presidential misconduct.

Mr Amash rounded on other members of Congress for reaching conclusions on the report before they had even read it.

"Their minds were made up based on partisan affiliation—and it showed, with representatives and senators from both parties issuing definitive statements on the 448-page report's conclusions within just hours of its release."