Republican Justin Amash Declares 'President Trump Has Engaged in Impeachable Conduct'

donald trump, treason, tweet, prosecutor
President Donald Trump salutes as he walks from Marine One after arriving on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., May 17, 2019, following a one-night trip to New York. SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Congressman Justin Amash of Michigan penned a lengthy Twitter thread on Saturday afternoon, concluding that — after having read the full report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller — "President Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct," and "Attorney General [William] Barr has deliberately misrepresented Mueller's report."

These were the top two of of four "principal conclusions" listed by Amash after what he described as a careful and compete reading of the full, but redacted 448-page Mueller report on the special counsel's investigation into Russian election interference and allegations the president obstructed justice.

Here are my principal conclusions:
1. Attorney General Barr has deliberately misrepresented Mueller’s report.
2. President Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct.
3. Partisanship has eroded our system of checks and balances.
4. Few members of Congress have read the report.

— Justin Amash (@justinamash) May 18, 2019

Amash's two other topline conclusions were that "Partisanship has eroded our system of checks and balances," and "Few members of Congress have read the report."

While the congressman from Michigan does not appear to directly call for Trump to be impeached, Amash does make the argument that the president could be impeached and removed from office based on what he read in the report.

"Under our Constitution, the president 'shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors,'" wrote the representative. "While 'high Crimes and Misdemeanors' is not defined, the context implies conduct that violates the public trust."

He continued: "Contrary to Barr's portrayal, Mueller's report reveals that President Trump engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behavior that meet the threshold for impeachment."

The Twitter thread noted the multiple examples given in the Mueller report where Trump may have attempted to obstructed the special counsel's investigation, including his attempts to have Mueller removed. According to Amash's take, "undoubtedly any person who is not the president of the United States would be indicted based on such evidence."

He then went on to claim that impeachment "does not even require probable cause that a crime (e.g., obstruction of justice) has been committed; it simply requires a finding that an official has engaged in careless, abusive, corrupt, or otherwise dishonorable conduct."

Contrary to some who have argued that impeachment attempts will likely only grow more frequent as a nations grows more partisan, Amash countered that "the risk we face in an environment of extreme partisanship is not that Congress will employ [impeachment] as a remedy too often but rather that Congress will employ it so rarely that it cannot deter misconduct."

The congressman, who was a member of the Michigan state legislature before being elected to federal office in 2010, criticized his colleagues for what he views as changing their views depending on the prevailing political wind.

"We've witnessed members of Congress from both parties shift their views 180 degrees—on the importance of character, on the principles of obstruction of justice—depending on whether they're discussing Bill Clinton or Donald Trump," he explained.

According to Amash, this partisanship also resulted in few members of Congress actually reading the entire Mueller report.

"[T]heir minds were made up based on partisan affiliation—and it showed," he wrote, "with representatives and senators from both parties issuing definitive statements on the 448-page report's conclusions within just hours of its release."

The congressman's concluding statement was not a condemnation but an apparent call to arms for his fellow legislators to "uphold both the rules and spirit of our constitutional system even when to do so is personally inconvenient or yields a politically unfavorable outcome. Our Constitution is brilliant and awesome; it deserves a government to match it."

The comments from Amash drew significant attention from both Democrats and Republicans, including Rep. Rashida Tlaib who urged her fellow Michiganer to visit her office and co-sponsor legislation to begin impeachment proceedings against Trump.

However, RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel blasted Amash's comments in a series of tweets, saying, "It's sad to see Congressman Amash parroting the Democrats' talking points on Russia. The only people still fixated on the Russia collusion hoax are political foes of President Trump hoping to defeat him in 2020 by any desperate means possible. Voters in Amash's district strongly support this President, and would rather their Congressman work to support the President's policies that have brought jobs, increased wages and made life better for Americans."

Newsweek has reached out to Amash's office for further clarification on the congressman's comments. If any further details are provided, we will update this story.

This story has been updated to add reactions from RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and Rep. Rashida Tlaib.

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