Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Corporate gatekeepers and big tech monopolists are making it more difficult than ever for independent media to survive. Please chip in today.

Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) speaking at the 2014 International Students for Liberty Conference (ISFLC) in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr/cc)

Trump Critics Call on Democrats to Heed GOP Rep. Justin Amash's 'Wake-Up Call' and Begin Impeachment Proceedings

"How is it possible that a Republican member of Congress is willing to do more than House Democratic leadership to hold Donald Trump accountable?"

Julia Conley

Trump critics on Monday pointed to what they said was the latest evidence that congressional Democrats must begin impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump: the fact that the move now has the support of at least one Republican.

Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) became the first Republican to publicly call for the House to draw up articles of impeachment against Trump in a Twitter thread on Saturday, arguing that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on the president's campaign offers ample evidence that Trump obstructed justice.

"Plenty of liberals are asking why there aren't more Republican members of Congress with the guts, eloquence, or honesty to say what Amash has said. It's a good question. But a better, more relevant question is this: Why aren't there more Democrats willing to say the same?"                                                           —Mehdi Hasan, The Intercept

His position puts Amash at odds with many members of his own party—and resulted in a threat from one state representative who vowed to challenge Amash in a primary in 2020—and also with top Democrats who have claimed that pursuing impeachment would be a futile exercise despite mounting evidence of Trump's wrongdoing.

"Plenty of liberals are asking why there aren't more Republican members of Congress with the guts, eloquence, or honesty to say what Amash has said," wrote Mehdi Hasan at The Intercept on Monday. "It's a good question. But a better, more relevant question is this: Why aren't there more Democrats willing to say the same?" 

In his Twitter thread on Saturday, Amash wrote that any member of Congress who has thoroughly read the Mueller report should have come to the same conclusion he did after reading the 448-page document.

Despite Attorney General William Barr's claim that the report suggested Trump could not have obstructed justice because he didn't commit an underlying crime, Mueller's investigation uncovered at least 10 instances in which the president may have obstructed justice—instances which the special counsel left to Congress to investigate. 

Barr "deliberately misrepresented Mueller's report," Amash concluded after reading the document—which, he suggested, few members of Congress had actually read.

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

On Monday, Amash doubled down on his call for drawing up articles of impeachment, expanding on his view that Congress has reason to impeach the president even if Trump did not personally commit an underlying crime by colluding with Russia.

On the Democratic side, Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Al Green (D-Texas)  have led the call to impeach Trump, with Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) signing on as co-sponsors of their resolution last month.

At The Intercept, Hasan expressed hope that Amash's support would help pave the way for more Democrats to publicly call for impeachment proceedings—considering House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said just after the Democrats won control of the House in November that impeachment proceedings must be completed in a "bipartisan way."

"Amash is a Republican and one of the most conservative members of the House," wrote Hasan. "So it's bipartisan now. In fact, a few other Republicans might throw their weight behind impeachment too—if Pelosi and Company can be bothered to hold the hearings, make the case, and call a vote."

Amash's stance on impeachment came to light as Pelosi and other powerful Democrats claimed that bringing charges against Trump would be "divisive" and "not worthwhile" as the Republican-controlled Senate would not vote in favor of the move.

"How is it possible that a Republican member of Congress is willing to do more than House Democratic leadership to hold Donald Trump accountable?" said Heidi Hess, co-director of CREDO Action, in a statement. "Nancy Pelosi and the rest of her leadership team are running out of excuses for delaying the inevitable. They must hear Rep. Amash's wake-up call for what it is and heed the growing bipartisan call for initiating impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump."

The congressman's Republican colleagues—and the president himself—were quick to attack Amash, with Michigan state Rep. Jim Lowe threatening to challenge Amash in a primary next year, vowing to run as a "pro-Trump" candidate and accusing the five-term representative of being "out of touch" with his constituents.

In fact, support for impeachment has risen steadily in recent weeks, with 45 percent of respondents in a Reuters/Ipsos poll last month saying they would back proceedings against Trump. Only 43 percent of Americans supported impeaching President Richard Nixon in the months before a House committee passed articles of impeachment against him.

According to Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), while Amash is the only member of the party who has said so publicly, many Republicans in Congress privately believe the president should be impeached. "Those who have read the Mueller report cannot avoid the conclusion that the president and some of his absolutely core advisers engaged in profoundly disappointing, reprehensible conduct," Coons told CNN's "New Day" on Monday. "Conduct that would rise to the level of an obstruction of justice charge if he were anyone other than the president of the United States."

Tlaib applauded Amash for calling on Congress to hold the president accountable—as Mueller suggested in his report—and invited him to join her in co-sponsoring her resolution to introduce articles of impeachment.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Scientists to BlackRock Vice Chairman: New Fossil Fuel Development 'Incompatible' With 1.5°C

"The only responsible course of action is to do everything in our power to stop fossil fuel expansion and further emissions."

Jessica Corbett ·


Goldman Prize Awarded to Activists Who Showed Nature's 'Amazing Capability to Regenerate'

"While the many challenges before us can feel daunting, and at times make us lose faith, these seven leaders give us a reason for hope and remind us what can be accomplished in the face of adversity."

Julia Conley ·


Faith Leaders Call for Federal Election Monitors in Georgia to Protect Black Voters

"It is imperative that our election this November is monitored to preserve ballot integrity and ensure ballot security."

Brett Wilkins ·


'Inaction Is Bought': Here Are the Receipts on NRA's Purchase of GOP

"The issue is money in politics," said Nina Turner after the nation's latest mass killing of students and teachers. Right-wing lawmakers are "allowing children to die because of the gun lobby."

Kenny Stancil ·


'This Is on You!' Beto Interrupts Abbott Press Conference on Texas Massacre

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke accused Texas' GOP leaders of "doing nothing and offering us nothing" in the wake of the massacre at Robb Elementary School.

Jake Johnson ·

Common Dreams Logo