Yesterday, Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) decided to provide cover to every elected Democrat’s wildest dream by publicly asserting that Donald Trump should be impeached (see First GOP House Member Calls for the Impeachment of Donald Trump). Check out the link to streiff’s post for the full set of tweets.
This of course set off claims of a “bi-partisan” effort to remove the President from office and is going to help green light something that House Democrats were otherwise too cowardly to do. Amash immediately earned a lot of new friends.
There is now bipartisan agreement in the House of Representatives that the President of the United States has engaged in impeachable conduct. https://t.co/hD7wgQH4AD
— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) May 18, 2019
Tweets from @justinamash are rightly making news. This is what principle over party looks like, We can disagree over policy, but we shouldn't disagree over the rule of law. The call for impeachment, at least with this one voice so far, has taken on a hint of bipartisanship. https://t.co/144WQ757VQ
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) May 18, 2019
I say this as someone at odds with Amash on lots of issues important to me (and I think to him): All honor to Justin Amash, who has done so much today to set an example of constitutional responsibility and mature, civic discourse.
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) May 18, 2019
I think Amash’s call for impeachment is stupid at best. His tweets make very serious claims while providing essentially no evidence of those claims. Citing the Mueller report in a completely generalized manner is not an argument for impeachment. If it were, Mueller would have recommended Trump be charged (and we know the OLC opinion on indicting Presidents was not a factor). Saying that any other person would have been indicted, again providing no evidence, is not clever. It’s obfuscation.
Amash should cite some previous examples of obstruction of justice convictions involving someone who publicly criticized an investigation and thought about doing something but never did it. I mean, since it’s such an open and shut case, there’s got to be just dozens and dozens of examples he can cite, right?
How many more tweets until we can expect you to cite an actual example of a lie or an impeachable offense? https://t.co/2dfSoqoroD
— Former Zygote Michael Knowles (@michaeljknowles) May 18, 2019
The shots at Bill Barr are even worse. At least with impeachment you can fall back on the fact that it’s an open-ended, political standard, which is what Amash attempts to do further down in his statement. What he’s accusing Barr of is simply a lie though. He did not misrepresent the Mueller report and Robert Mueller himself has confirmed that. To drag his name through the mud without anything to back it up undermines the entirety of his comments.
Point 3 & 4:
Things to remember:
-Amash tweeted this on a Saturday & the major anti-Trump accounts immediately promoted it; this will be covered on the Sunday news shows
-In a March CNN interview, Amash *refused* to rule out running for president
This was a PR stunt
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) May 18, 2019
Is it a PR stunt? I’m struggling to see any other reason for how, when, and why he’d do what he did. If he truly believes impeachment is the answer, a Saturday night tweet session providing no actionable examples is not the proper way to go about it. It’s also no secret that Amash has been gunning for Trump since he took office. Running for President on the Libertarian ticket amid the rejoicings of Pierre Omidyar funded “conservatives” everywhere may be his end game.
I know, I know. Amash is a libertarian so I’m supposed to praise how principled he is and assume that nothing he’s ever done could possibly be motivated by his political ambitions. So here’s my challenge to him on impeachment.
Enough posturing and generalizing. Democrats have been doing that for years on this topic. If he really believes that 1) Bill Barr lied about the report and that 2) Trump committed impeachable offenses, then he should put his money where his mouth is.
In fact, noted anti-Semite Rashida Tlaib has just made him an offer.
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) May 18, 2019
Consistency demands that he join her in her fight.
There’s no reason Amash should not have his name on articles of impeachment by the end of this week. If he’s going to do this, then actually do it. Anything else is cowardice and politics.
As to the GOP and their response, there should be no support for re-election and he should be removed from his committee assignments. If this were a Democrat doing this to Obama, they’d be completely kicked out of the party because Democrats don’t play games.
Am I saying that Republicans can’t dissent from President Trump? Nope. I’ve got no issue with those like Ben Sasse who are willing to make logical, measured arguments against certain aspects of the President’s behavior. I’ve also recently defended those who criticized the President for his silly feud with a deceased John McCain.
What Amash did is way too far though. If you are going to call for the impeachment of your own party’s President, then you better have evidence so air tight that no question can be raised. Given that he didn’t provide that, he has no business being in the caucus any longer. Go be a libertarian, along with all the glory that comes with that, and enjoy the plaudits from The Bulwark.