Amash gets standing ovation at first town hall after calling for Trump's impeachment

Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashDemocrats gear up for high-stakes Judiciary hearing Here are the Senate Republicans who could vote to convict Trump Amash says he will vote in favor of articles of impeachment MORE (R-Mich.) received a standing ovation Tuesday evening at his first public event since becoming the first Republican to call for President TrumpDonald John TrumpLawmakers prep ahead of impeachment hearing Democrats gear up for high-stakes Judiciary hearing Warren says she made almost M from legal work over past three decades MORE's impeachment. 

At a town hall in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Amash criticized House Republican leadership, including Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyDemocrat who opposed Trump, Clinton impeachment inquiries faces big test CNN Pelosi town hall finishes third in cable news ratings race, draws 1.6M Economy adds 266K jobs in November, blowing past expectations MORE (R-Calif.), whom he called the “so-called leader.”

“I read the Mueller report. I’m sure he didn’t read it,” Amash said of McCarthy. “He resorted to ad hominem attacks; that’s the kind of ‘leadership’ we now have in Congress.”

McCarthy has accused Amash of seeking attention with his remarks and told reporters Amash was “out of step with this conference” and “out of step with America.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Amash reaffirmed his position that special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTrump says he'll release financial records before election, knocks Dems' efforts House impeachment hearings: The witch hunt continues Speier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump MORE’s report outlines impeachable conduct by Trump.

“I’m confident that if you read volume two, you will be appalled at much of the conduct. And I was appalled by it. And that’s why I stated what I stated. That’s why I came to that conclusion,” he said. “We can’t let conduct like that go unchecked.”

Amash, who has drawn a Trump-supporting primary challenger, said he was not concerned his remarks about Trump could cost him his seat. Two GOP Trump critics, former Sens. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeLindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight Kelly, McSally virtually tied in Arizona Senate race: poll The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Nareit — White House cheers Republicans for storming impeachment hearing MORE (Ariz.) and Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerRNC says ex-Trump ambassador nominee's efforts 'to link future contributions to an official action' were 'inappropriate' Lindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Nareit — White House cheers Republicans for storming impeachment hearing MORE (Tenn.), retired in 2018, and another, former Rep. Mark SanfordMark SanfordThe Hill's Campaign Report: Late bids surprise 2020 Democratic field Michigan GOP attempting to have Trump be only Republican candidate on ballot Weld files to run in GOP presidential primary in New Hampshire MORE (S.C.), was defeated in his 2018 primary. While Amash declined to rule out a Libertarian Party presidential bid, he denied he had that in mind when he made the original comments.

Amash also faced criticism from the event’s audience, with one attendee in a "Make America Great Again" hat telling Amash, "I can’t tell you how disappointed I am," but the majority of questioners expressed support for Amash.

Since his original comments, Amash has faced pushback and criticism from fellow Republicans, including Trump, who called him a “lightweight,” and Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulTrump's legal team huddles with Senate Republicans Democratic congressman calls for study of effects of sex-trafficking law McConnell says he's 'honored' to be WholeFoods Magazine's 2019 'Person of the Year' MORE (R-Ky.), a fellow libertarian-leaning member of Congress, who said the Mueller investigation was “the antithesis of libertarianism.”