Days after declaring his independence from his Republican Party, Rep. Justin Amash reaffirmed his belief that “there’s a strong case” to bring up articles of impeachment against President Trump.
The newly independent Michigan lawmaker, who was the only GOP member to call for impeachment proceedings after Robert Mueller’s report was released, said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was making a mistake in not moving forward.
“From a principled, moral position, she’s making a mistake. From a strategic position, she’s making a mistake,” Amash said in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” Sunday.
“If she believes, as I do, that there’s impeachable conduct in there, then she should say so. She should tell the American people, we’re going to move forward with impeachment hearings and potentially articles of impeachment.”
Amash, 39, criticized Pelosi’s resistance to calls from members of her party to begin impeachment proceedings and has advised that Democrats take methodical, fact-based steps through their investigations.
“What she’s telling the American people is she doesn’t think there’s a strong case,” Amash said. “If she doesn’t think that, then she shouldn’t open her mouth in the first place and say she thinks there’s impeachable conduct.”
“I do believe there’s a strong case,” added Amash. “I believe she believes there’s a strong case. And, if so, she should move forward and make sure that the American people understand what’s going on … and if she doesn’t want to go forward, then we’re going to have a big problem.”
After Amash announced his departure from the Republican Party in an op-ed published in the Washington Post on the Fourth of July, Trump ripped into the fifth-term congressman, calling the announcement “great news for the Republican Party as one of the dumbest & most disloyal men in Congress is ‘quitting’ the Party.
“A total loser!” he added.
Amash addressed Trump’s attack with a rebuke that the president “thinks that people owe loyalty to him.”
“But people are elected to Congress with an oath to support and defend the Constitution,” Amash said Sunday. “Not an oath to support and defend one person, the president who happens to be from your own party.”
Amash told Tapper he believes that his former GOP colleagues simply fear Trump. “They’re afraid they will be attacked,” Amash said. “They’re afraid that people back home who are listening to certain forms of media will say, well, the president’s right, this guy’s a terrible person, and we need to go after him.”
Amash did add he thinks “a lot of the partisan discord and the rest started with President Trump.”
“It’s been going on for years, and it’s gotten worse in recent years. But he’s helping to fuel it, and he’s making it worse, and he’s making it more difficult for people to be independent in Congress,” said Amash, who said he’s had “fellow colleagues and other Republicans, high-level officials” reach out to say “thank you for what you’re doing.”
“There are lots of Republicans out there who are saying these things privately, but they’re not saying it publicly,” added Amash. “And I think that’s a problem for our country. It’s a problem for the RepublicanParty. It’s a problem for the Democratic Party when people aren’t allowed to speak out.”