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Amash exits House Freedom Caucus in wake of Trump impeachment stance

Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashRepublicans eye primaries in impeachment vote Michigan GOP lawmaker says he's 'strongly considering' impeachment Newly sworn in Republican House member after Capitol riot: 'I regret not bringing my gun to D.C.' MORE (R-Mich.) has opted to quit the House Freedom Caucus (HFC) in the wake of his comments in support of moving forward with impeachment proceedings against President TrumpDonald TrumpSenators given no timeline on removal of National Guard, Capitol fence Democratic fury with GOP explodes in House Georgia secretary of state withholds support for 'reactionary' GOP voting bills MORE.

Amash said on Twitter in May that after reading the Mueller report he believes the president engaged in "impeachable conduct," also accusing Attorney General William BarrBill BarrBiden administration withdraws from Connecticut transgender athlete case Justice Department renews investigation into George Floyd's death: report Putting antifa and Black Lives Matter on notice MORE of "deliberately misrepresenting" the findings of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

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The Freedom Caucus previously voted to condemn the Michigan Republican’s remarks last month, but the group opted not to force him out despite a divide amongst members. Members have repeatedly made it clear Amash’s voice did not represent their opinions on the matter, asserting they do not believe there was collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin or any attempts by the president to obstruct the special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump MORE's investigation.

Pressure to kick the congressman out of the group began to mount after Amash, a founding member, failed to alert the group he planned to make his position on impeachment public,  blindsiding his colleagues.

“They called a special board meeting last Tuesday to continue discussing next steps, including removal. Amash was in attendance (at one point he was asked to step out of the room),” a source with knowledge of the conversations told The Hill.

“This was the maneuver the group landed on — telling him to bow out gracefully while stopping the political hemorrhaging, especially since he wasn’t overly involved in the operation this Congress," the source added. "At the end of the day, HFC isn't in the business of booting out members. There’s too much mutual respect, and for many, the differences of opinion is what makes the group unique compared to others.”

Members of the Freedom Caucus have served as some of Trump’s strongest defenders in Congress, continuing to stand by the president as momentum builds within the Democratic Party to impeach him.  

Trump has maintained that Mueller's investigation found "no collusion" and "no obstruction." Mueller did not establish the that Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government. He neither implicated nor exonerated the president on the matter of obstruction.

Amash is expected to face a well-funded primary challenge, with at least one challenger, Michigan state Rep. Jim Lower (R), having announced his intentions to run against the incumbent following the impeachment comments.

Updated on June 11 at 7:31 a.m.