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Republican Congressman Breaks Ranks, Declares Trump Committed ‘Impeachable Conduct’

Rolling Stone — Tim Dickinson

Republican Congressman Justin Amash has broken with the Republican Party line to declare that President Trump has “engaged in impeachable conduct.” He also accuses Attorney General William Barr of attempting “to mislead the public about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s analysis and findings.” President Trump has responded calling Amash a “lightweight” and a “loser.”

Amash, who represents a Michigan district anchored by Grand Rapids, leans libertarian in his political orientation. He is the first prominent GOP officeholder to suggest that Trump’s efforts to obstruct justice and undermine the rule of law merit his removal from office. Indeed, Amash’s call for impeachment puts him out ahead of Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

“President Trump engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behavior that meet the threshold for impeachment,” Amash writes. The congressman used a Twitter thread Saturday to broadcast his views, “only after having read Mueller’s redacted report carefully and completely, having read or watched pertinent statements and testimony, and having discussed this matter with my staff.”

In his thread, Amash offered choice criticism for Barr in his execution of his duties as America’s top law enforcement officer.

Barr’s deceptive summary to congress, Amash writes obscured what the congressman believes, in fact, was criminal behavior:

Amash spends much of his thread warning America about adherence to party over our constitutional system of checks and balances, while making a subtle jab at fellow conservatives who sought to impeach Bill Clinton for obstruction of justice, but have remained silent in the face of Trump’s lawlessness:

Rebuking his colleagues for failing in their basic duties — “few members of Congress even read Mueller’s report,” he writes — Amash closes with a recognition that his constitutional obligations, at this moment, far outrank his political imperatives:

“America’s institutions depend on officials to uphold both the rules and spirit of our constitutional system even when to do so is personally inconvenient or yields a politically unfavorable outcome,” Amash writes. “Our Constitution is brilliant and awesome; it deserves a government to match it.”

Amash’s bold act of patriotism is already drawing rebuke from Trump partisans. The Republican National Committee sent Rolling Stone a statement from chair Ronna McDaniel, who said it is “sad” to see Amash “parroting the Democrats’ talking points on Russia.” McDaniel added: “The only people still fixated on the Russia collusion hoax are political foes of President Trump hoping to defeat him in 2020 by any desperate means possible.”

President Trump himself responded on Twitter on Sunday morning, insisting, “Justin is a loser”:

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