Amash doubles down on Trump and impeachment

Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashMcCabe says it's 'absolutely' time to launch impeachment inquiry into Trump McCabe says it's 'absolutely' time to launch impeachment inquiry into Trump Amash responds to Trump Jr. primary threat with Russia joke MORE (R-Mich.) on Monday doubled down on his critical remarks of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump cites tax cuts over judges as having biggest impact of his presidency Trump cites tax cuts over judges as having biggest impact of his presidency Ocasio-Cortez claps back at Trump after he cites her in tweet rejecting impeachment MORE, detailing in a series of tweets why he thinks the case can be made that Trump should be impeached for obstruction of justice.

"People who say there were no underlying crimes and therefore the president could not have intended to illegally obstruct the investigation—and therefore cannot be impeached—are resting their argument on several falsehoods," Amash tweeted.

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In a series of subsequent tweets, Amash sought to shoot down a number of prominent defenses of the president's behavior illustrated in special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerKamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE's report.

Amash argued it would be inaccurate to say "there were no underlying crimes" revealed by Mueller's investigation, that obstruction of justice requires an underlying crime, that the president should be allowed to use any means to end a so-called frivolous investigation, and that the threshold of "high crimes and misdemeanors" requires actual criminal charges.

Amash on Saturday became the first Republican lawmaker to say Trump engaged in "impeachable conduct." The House Freedom Caucus member concluded after reading Mueller's 448-page report that it showed "multiple examples of conduct satisfying all the elements of obstruction of justice."

Trump promptly returned fire on Sunday, calling Amash a "loser" and a "total lightweight" and accusing him of making the comments "for the sake of getting his name out there through controversy."

The president has maintained that Mueller's investigation found "no collusion and no obstruction." The special counsel did not establish the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government, and Mueller neither implicated nor exonerated the president on obstruction charges, leaving the matter up to Congress for further investigation.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyThe case for congressional pay raises McConnell defends Trump amid backlash: 'He gets picked at every day' McConnell defends Trump amid backlash: 'He gets picked at every day' MORE (R-Calif.) on Sunday suggested Amash made the claim to get attention and noted the congressman's tendency to buck the party on legislative votes.

“It’s a question whether he’s even in our Republican conference as a whole,” McCarthy said on Fox News. “What he wants is attention in this process. He’s not a criminal attorney. He’s never met Mueller. He’s never met [Attorney General William] Barr. Now he’s coming forward with this because this is what he wants.”

Michigan state Rep. Jim Lower (R) said Monday morning he would challenge Amash in a GOP primary for the 3rd Congressional District nomination.

Amash has represented the district since 2011. He won reelection last year with 54 percent of the vote.