Amash says he's happy not feeling 'bound to a particular party'

Amash says he's happy not feeling 'bound to a particular party'
© Greg Nash

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 (I-Mich.) says that he's the "happiest" he's ever been while in Congress.

In a new Time magazine interview, Amash, the only non-Democratic member of Congress to support the impeachment inquiry against 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, attributes his happiness to leaving the House Freedom Caucus and the Republican Party in July.

“It’s very freeing to not feel bound to a particular party," he says.

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The Michigan lawmaker, who has long been one of Trump's most vocal conservative critics, admits that partisanship would have sharpened his attacks in years past.

“I just think if President Obama were saying the kinds of things President Trump is saying, and this were several years ago, I would have been a lot harder on Obama,” the 39-year-old says.

“And I don’t think there’s anyone in either party for whom that’s not true.”

Amash says he grew tired of fellow conservatives falling in line with the president's rhetoric and policies instead of holding him and their own party accountable.

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 (R-S.C.), who lost to a Trump-backed primary challenger last year and is now mounting a long-shot White House bid, told Time: “I think that [Amash] has represented something of the conscience of the conservative movement within the Republican Party.” 

“He always stood for true north, whether that meant he was fighting alone or with a group of others. I think he’s ahead of his time.”