Amash exits House Freedom Caucus in wake of Trump impeachment stance

Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashAmash warns of turning lawmakers like Cheney into 'heroes' Cheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP Biden: 'Prince Philip gladly dedicated himself to the people of the UK' 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 TrumpNew Capitol Police chief to take over Friday Overnight Health Care: Biden officials says no change to masking guidance right now | Missouri Supreme Court rules in favor of Medicaid expansion | Mississippi's attorney general asks Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade Michael Wolff and the art of monetizing gossip 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 BarrTrump: Washington/Lincoln ticket would have had hard time beating me before pandemic Trump says Barr 'never' told him he thought he'd lose election Speeches aren't enough: Biden must ditch bipartisanship, endorse ending filibuster MORE of "deliberately misrepresenting" the findings of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

ADVERTISEMENT

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) 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 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.