Amash exits House Freedom Caucus in wake of Trump impeachment stance

Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashLawmakers blast Trump as Israel bars door to Tlaib and Omar House Democrats targeting six more Trump districts for 2020 Sanford headed to New Hampshire amid talk of challenge to Trump 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 John Trump Former US ambassador: 'Denmark is not a big fan of Donald Trump and his politics' Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Detroit county sheriff endorses Booker for president 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 BarrWilliam Pelham BarrProsecutors are mainly to blame for the criminal justice crisis The Hill's Morning Report - Trump hews to NRA on guns and eyes lower taxes 10 declassified Russia collusion revelations that could rock Washington this fall 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) Swan MuellerMueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony 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.