Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashDemocrats defend Afghan withdrawal amid Taliban advance Vietnam shadow hangs over Biden decision on Afghanistan Kamala Harris and our shameless politics MORE (R-Mich.) doubled down on his critiques of President TrumpDonald TrumpTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Schumer sets Monday showdown on debt ceiling-government funding bill Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe MORE on Thursday, saying in a lengthy Twitter thread that he took actions that were “inherently corrupt.”
Amash, who made headlines Saturday when he became the first Republican lawmaker to say Trump engaged in “impeachable conduct,” said special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE’s report showed Trump sought to impede his investigation into Russia's election interference.
“Mueller’s report describes a consistent effort by the president to use his office to obstruct or otherwise corruptly impede the Russian election interference investigation because it put his interests at risk,” Amash tweeted.
“President Trump had an incentive to undermine the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, which included investigating contacts between Russia and the Trump campaign,” he continued, noting that the investigation ultimately uncovered “very unflattering information” about Trump and revealed crimes committed by his associates.
Mueller’s report describes a consistent effort by the president to use his office to obstruct or otherwise corruptly impede the Russian election interference investigation because it put his interests at risk.— Justin Amash (@justinamash) May 23, 2019
The Michigan Republican cited several examples of what he said were obstructive acts, including asking former Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsOvernight Hillicon Valley — Apple issues security update against spyware vulnerability Stanford professors ask DOJ to stop looking for Chinese spies at universities in US Overnight Energy & Environment — Democrats detail clean electricity program MORE to reverse his decision to recuse himself from overseeing Mueller’s probe, directing former White House counsel Don McGahn to have Mueller removed, floating possible pardons to associates to urge them not to cooperate with the special counsel and more.
“Some of the president’s actions were inherently corrupt. Other actions were corrupt—and therefore impeachable—because the president took them to serve his own interests,” Amash said.
“The president has authority to fire federal officials, direct his subordinates, and grant pardons, but he cannot do so for corrupt purposes; otherwise, he would always be allowed to shut down any investigation into himself or his associates, which would put him above the law.”
Mueller found insufficient evidence to conclude that Trump or any of his associates conspired with Russia during the 2016 election, but declined to make a prosecutorial judgement regarding if the president sought to obstruct probes into Russia's election meddling.
Amash, a staunch conservative who has bucked his party in the past with criticisms of the president, has emerged as a pariah among the GOP in Washington. Though he says some Republicans privately sympathize with his comments, the House Freedom Caucus, of which Amash is a member, voted Monday to condemn his remarks and President Trump called him a “loser" and "total lightweight."
“He probably wants to run for some other office,” the president told reporters Monday. “I don’t think he’ll do very well. He’s been a loser for a long time. Rarely votes for Republicans, and personally I think he’s not much.”
Amash said Tuesday he would not rule out leaving the Republican Party to run for president as the Libertarian Party candidate.
“I’m just focused on defending the Constitution, it’s not something I’ve thought about,” Amash told The Hill. “I don’t take things off the table like that, but it’s not something at the forefront of my considerations right now. I’m just focused on my job. I wouldn’t take running for governor off the table or Senate or statehouse, I don’t take things off the table.”
State Rep. Jim Lower (R-Mich.) said Monday morning he would challenge Amash in the GOP primary for the 3rd Congressional District nomination.
Amash dismissed the challenge, telling reporters Monday, “It’s not serious.”