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

Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashGroup of Democrats floating censure of Trump instead of impeachment: report Democrats gear up for high-stakes Judiciary hearing Here are the Senate Republicans who could vote to convict Trump 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 TrumpRepublicans consider skipping witnesses in Trump impeachment trial Bombshell Afghanistan report bolsters calls for end to 'forever wars' Lawmakers dismiss Chinese retaliatory threat to US tech MORE's impeachment. 

At a town hall in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Amash criticized House Republican leadership, including Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyCollege Republicans launch campaign calling for GOP to take action on climate change Pelosi's whiplash moment brings praise and criticism GOP calls for minority hearing on impeachment, threatens procedural measures 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.”

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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 PaulMellman: Looking to Iowa Pelosi gets standing ovation at Kennedy Center Honors Senate braces for brawl on Trump impeachment rules MORE (R-Ky.), a fellow libertarian-leaning member of Congress, who said the Mueller investigation was “the antithesis of libertarianism.”