Stung by Trump, U.S. Republican defends his impeachment remarks

By Susan Cornwell WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Justin Amash, the first Republican in the U.S. Congress to say openly that President Donald Trump has committed impeachable offences, on Monday fired back at critics, including Trump. Standing behind his earlier remarks, Amash issued a string of tweets that challenged some of the most common arguments of those who defend Trump over Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S.

Reuters May 21, 2019 03:06:34 IST
Stung by Trump, U.S. Republican defends his impeachment remarks

Stung by Trump US Republican defends his impeachment remarks

By Susan Cornwell

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Justin Amash, the first Republican in the U.S. Congress to say openly that President Donald Trump has committed impeachable offences, on Monday fired back at critics, including Trump.

Standing behind his earlier remarks, Amash issued a string of tweets that challenged some of the most common arguments of those who defend Trump over Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.

The new Amash tweets followed his earlier remarks on Twitter on Saturday, when he said that the Mueller report on Russia showed that Trump, a fellow Republican, had obstructed justice.

"President Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct," the Michigan conservative said then, drawing a broadside from Trump.

In his usual caustic style, the president on Sunday tweeted that Amash was "a total lightweight" and "a loser."

In addition, in a case of swift political retribution, Amash drew an election challenge from within his own party on Monday when Jim Lower, a Michigan state legislator who described himself as "pro-Trump," said he would challenge Amash in the 2020 Republican primary, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Amash in his latest tweets said that people who say Trump could not have intended to illegally obstruct Mueller's investigation relied on several falsehoods, including a claim that there were no underlying crimes.

"In fact, there were many crimes revealed by the investigation, some of which were charged, and some of which were not," Amash wrote on Twitter.

Mueller’s investigation led to criminal charges against 34 people, including Trump's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who agreed to cooperate with the probe.

Amash also said that bringing an obstruction of justice case did not, as some of Trump's backers have argued, require the prosecution of an underlying crime.

Further, he said, "high crimes and misdemeanours," the U.S. Constitution's standard for removing a president from office, does not require corresponding statutory charges. "The context implies conduct that violates the public trust," Amash said.

No U.S. president has ever been removed from office as a direct result of the U.S. Constitution's impeachment process.

Democrats have debated for months whether to start proceedings to remove Trump from office, but no Republican in Congress, other than Amash, has called Trump's conduct impeachable. While Amash's remarks made calls in Congress for Trump's removal bipartisan, there were no signs late on Monday of other Republicans following his lead.

A long-time Trump critic, Amash is part of the House Freedom Caucus, a conservative House of Representatives faction whose members normally defend Trump. Amash has also signalled he would consider running as a libertarian against Trump in 2020.

Amash has been in Congress since 2011 and has faced only one serious primary challenge since then. He beat that opponent by nearly 15 points in 2014.

Amash's new Republican challenger, Lower, posted a photo of himself on Facebook in front of a "Trump 2020" sign. "Congressman Justin Amash tweets yesterday calling for President Trump’s impeachment show how out of touch he is ... He must be replaced and I am going to do it," Lower said, according to the Detroit newspaper.

Michigan voters helped put Trump in the White House in 2016 by a slim margin. Democrats gained ground in 2018's congressional and state elections, making the Midwestern state a key political battleground in 2020.

(Reporting by Susan Cornwell; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Bill Berkrot)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

Greek police clash with protesters in rally against mandatory vaccinations
World

Greek police clash with protesters in rally against mandatory vaccinations

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek police used teargas and water cannon to disperse people who had gathered in central Athens on Saturday to protest against mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations. More than 4,000 people rallied outside the Greek parliament for a third time this month to oppose mandatory inoculations for some workers, such as healthcare and nursing staff.

Two Turkish soldiers killed in attack in northern Syria
World

Two Turkish soldiers killed in attack in northern Syria

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Two Turkish soldiers were killed and two were wounded in an attack on their armoured vehicle in northern Syria, and Turkish forces immediately launched retaliatory fire, Turkey's defence ministry said on Saturday. "Our punitive fire against terrorist positions is continuing," the statement on Twitter on said. It did not specify where the attack occurred, but media reports said it was in the al-Bab area.

Brazilians take to streets again to demand Bolsonaro's impeachment
World

Brazilians take to streets again to demand Bolsonaro's impeachment

By Marcelo Rochabrun SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Protesters took to the streets in several Brazilian cities on Saturday to demand the impeachment of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, whose popularity has fallen in recent weeks amid corruption scandals against the backdrop of the pandemic. This week, news broke that Brazil's defense ministry told congressional leadership that next year's elections would not take place without amending the country's electronic voting system to include a paper trail of each vote. Bolsonaro has suggested several times without evidence that the current system is prone to fraud, allegations that Brazil's government has denied