GOP Rep. Amash endorses Dem push for independent Russia probe

GOP Rep. Amash endorses Dem push for independent Russia probe

Republican Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashHouse votes to crack down on undocumented immigrants with gang ties GOP lawmaker taunts House conservatives: Trump’s base is not ‘small faction of obstructionists’ Overnight Finance: GOP plans to unveil tax framework in late September | Critical stretch for Trump tax team | Equifax CEO called to testify | Sanders unveils single-payer bill MORE (Mich.) has signed onto legislation from Democrats to create an independent commission to investigate Russian election interference, becoming the second GOP lawmaker to do so.

Amash became a cosponsor of the Protecting Our Democracy Act this week after President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, his spokeswoman confirmed Thursday following a BuzzFeed report.

Amash had indicated on Tuesday in the hours after Comey’s bombshell firing that he was inclined to back the legislation.

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“My staff and I are reviewing legislation to establish an independent commission on Russia. The second paragraph of this letter is bizarre,” Amash tweeted, referring to the paragraph in Trump’s letter to Comey that states “I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation.”

The bill, authored by Reps. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) and Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), has been endorsed by all 193 House Democrats, along with four delegates who caucus with them.

Before Amash, Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) was the only Republican co-sponsor.

Despite Amash’s backing, the idea of an independent commission or a special prosecutor to investigate Russia’s role in the election and possible Trump-Kremlin links hasn’t gained traction among most Republicans.

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainSenate's defense authorization would set cyber doctrine Senate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Overnight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions MORE (R-Ariz.) has endorsed the idea, but like Amash and Jones, he is an outlier among Republicans on the issue.

Speaker Paul RyanPaul RyanRyan: Graham-Cassidy 'best, last chance' to repeal ObamaCare Ryan: Americans want to see Trump talking with Dem leaders Overnight Finance: CBO to release limited analysis of ObamaCare repeal bill | DOJ investigates Equifax stock sales | House weighs tougher rules for banks dealing with North Korea MORE (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate passes 0B defense bill Overnight Health Care: New GOP ObamaCare repeal bill gains momentum Overnight Finance: CBO to release limited analysis of ObamaCare repeal bill | DOJ investigates Equifax stock sales | House weighs tougher rules for banks dealing with North Korea MORE (R-Ky.) insisted this week that the current probes by the FBI as well as the House and Senate Intelligence committees will suffice.

“I don't think that's a good idea,” Ryan said on Fox News on Wednesday evening when asked about a special prosecutor.

"I think the intelligence committees are the ones that should do this, because, don’t forget that the methods and sources of our intelligence gathering are also at play here, and we have to be very sensitive so that we don’t compromise that information as well,” he added.

Swalwell urged more Republicans to follow suit after Amash signed onto the bill. 

"I'm glad Rep. Amash has joined this effort, and I hope he can persuade others to join, too. We must put country over party to get to the bottom of what happened, and to ensure it never happens again. We can only find these truths with one, united search party," Swalwell said. 

- Updated at 4:27 p.m.