House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is disputing five-term U.S. Rep. Justin Amash’s call for President Trump’s impeachment.
Joining a growing chorus of Republicans, McCarthy said Tuesday that Rep. Amash, R-Mich., was out of step with others in the Republican Party and with the American people.
On “Sunday Morning Futures” this past weekend McCarthy told Fox News' Maria Bartiromo, “What he wants is attention in this process. He’s not a criminal attorney. He’s never met Mueller. He’s never met Barr. And now he’s coming forward with this?”
“It’s very disturbing,” McCarthy remarked. “This is exactly what you would expect from Justin. He never supported the president. And I think he’s just looking for attention.”
“Mr. Amash always has a different voting record than most of us, anyway,” McCarthy told reporters Tuesday.
In a series of tweets Saturday, Amash said attempts to obstruct justice as outlined in special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election were “impeachable conduct.” He also accused Attorney General William Barr of misleading the public, prompting swift backlash from his fellow party-members. Amash is the first Republican to call for President Trump’s impeachment.
“While impeachment should be undertaken only in extraordinary circumstances,” he tweeted, saying that unlike many of his colleagues he had read the Mueller report in full, “the risk we face in an environment of extreme partisanship is not that Congress will employ it as a remedy too often but rather that Congress will employ it so rarely that it cannot deter misconduct.”
Amash, who is a founding member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, told the Associated Press, “Their pressure doesn't have influence on me. I really am not concerned about what Kevin McCarthy thinks about it."
On Monday, the caucus voted to condemn Amash’s call for impeachment by a show of hands.
Representative Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, the top Republican on the House Oversight Committee and a former chairman of the Freedom Caucus, said that every member in attendance was unified in their opposition toward Amash’s comments. Jordan tweeted in a response Tuesday: “The @freedomcaucus is about FREEDOM. This isn’t not about Amash. It’s not even about the President. It’s about what Emmet Flood said: if the intel community can target the President for political reasons, imagine what they can do to any one of us.”
President Trump also fired back Sunday, tweeting: “Never a fan of @justinamash, a total lightweight who opposes me and some of our great Republican ideas and policies just for the sake of getting his name out there through controversy.”
“If he actually read the biased Mueller Report, “composed” by 18 Angry Dems who hated Trump, he would see that it was nevertheless strong on NO COLLUSION and, ultimately, NO OBSTRUCTION...” said Trump. “Anyway, how do you Obstruct when there is no crime and, in fact, the crimes were committed by the other side? Justin is a loser who sadly plays right into our opponents (sic) hands!”
National GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel accused Amash of “parroting Democrats' talking points on Russia.”
Closer to home, Michigan state representative Jim Lowe said that he would run for Amash’s seat in the Republican primary next year. While Michigan GOP Chairwoman Laura Cox attacked Amash's lack of loyalty tweeting, "Now, in a desperate attempt to grab headlines and advance his own presidential ambitions, Amash is peddling a narrative that has repeatedly been proven false. Shameful."
Any moves on impeachment would be a formal charge by the House. The Senate would then hold a trial on whether to strip President Trump of his office. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is holding her increasingly restless caucus to a step-by-step process and say it would take more Republicans than just Amash and broad public sentiment to trigger impeachment proceedings.