Republican Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan said a few other Republicans have privately expressed sympathy to his view that President Trump should be impeached.
“There are people who are still reviewing (the Mueller report),” Amash told CNN. “I’ve had people who, after I made my tweets said, ‘Boy, they’d better review it more carefully now and they hadn’t really gone through it before.'”
“I mean, volume two speaks for itself.”
Volume two, of course, deals with Trump et al’s attempts to obstruct the Russia Trump investigation. It laid out a clear obstruction of justice case, which Mueller laid at Congress’ feet to handle.
Amash also laid out a clear case that most of these people obviously haven’t actually read the Mueller report.
“So people who are baffled by it, I wonder how carefully they read volume two because it’s there. There’s a difference between skimming the pages and actually reading it and understanding it.”
If you’re wondering what the hold up is with impeaching President Trump, aside from the fact that it’s a process, it’s that up until Amash said Trump had committed impeachable offenses as laid out in the Mueller report, Republicans haven’t even read the Mueller report, let alone joined in the concern for our national security crisis.
Republicans have been so tightly held together against reality, even as our country is attacked, that they seem to be in a cult state.
Only Justin Amash has broken free of the KoolAid by actually reading the Mueller report. And he has finally spoken out after being threatened with his seat after saying Trump should be impeached.
Amash called Trump’s refusal to engage in legislation and Rose Garden tantrum “irresponsible”, but also seems to have low expectations for this president: “I think that’s irresponsible, but what do you expect?”
When speaking to a group of school children, Amash made a point that principles are what you do even when the outcome is not in your favor, “Don’t let people convince you that principles only matter when the outcome is in your favor. Principles matter especially, and really only, when the outcome is not in your favor.”
Before you get too excited to see this rare specimen of a Republican with actual principles who is not drinking the Trump KoolAid, Amash is not ready to sign on to any Democratic impeachment resolutions.
“I’d want to make sure that whatever I do legislatively is based on the positions I have and not based on some positions someone else has,” Amash told CNN.
And really, that is fair enough. No one wants to be used or sign on to something with which they don’t agree. But given that Amash can clearly see what the rest of us see, the idea that any impeachment resolution might be at odds with his own principles isn’t a given.
This is most unexpected from Amash, but he comes from my home state of Michigan, a state rooted in union values of hard work and ethics. It is easy to see how Trump conflicts with those values. Amash is similarly not letting the Trump Republican machine intimidate him, even as they get big donors to pull their support of him. This, too, is very Michigan. Michiganders as a whole don’t take kindly to mob boss mentality.
As I’ve written before, while many are saying we must impeach now for the rule of law, I don’t see it working out that way. I don’t see how the rule of law would be upheld without Republican support for impeachment, because as soon as it went to the Senate, Trump would be let off because McConnell would refuse to even schedule hearings.
Anyone who thinks McConnell would suddenly be compelled to uphold the law hasn’t been paying attention for the last eleven years.
To run to impeachment right now, with no Republican support, is to put the most vulnerable people in our country at risk. If Democrats impeach Trump but the GOP-led Senate lets him off, he will be a madman the likes of which this country has never seen before.
Republicans must come on board. To do this, they must be held accountable for reading the full Mueller report. They must be asked about it every time the press sees a Republican. They must be asked why they are not protecting this country. They must be asked specific questions about the report, so that if they haven’t read it (and most of them haven’t), it will be obvious.
Republicans are in a cult so deep that they actually trust Fox News’ version of the Mueller report over reading it with their own two eyes. This is not an excuse for their failure to protect this country, and they are responsible and accountable for this failure.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.