Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) announced on Thursday that he is leaving the Republican Party.
“Today, I am declaring my independence and leaving the Republican Party,” Amash wrote in a Washington Post op-ed Thursday morning. “No matter your circumstance, I’m asking you to join me in rejecting the partisan loyalties and rhetoric that divide and dehumanize us. I’m asking you to believe that we can do better than this two-party system — and to work toward it. If we continue to take America for granted, we will lose it.”
Amash has been the only congressional Republican to publicly say that the president committed impeachable offenses based on conclusions in special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on his investigation.
“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,” he wrote on May 18 on Twitter.
Later, Republican Party lawmakers and representatives blasted Amash, saying he “just wanted attention.”
“This is exactly what he wants, he wants to have attention,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said on “Sunday Morning Futures.” “You’ve got to understand Justin Amash. He’s been in Congress quite some time. I think he’s asked one question in all the committees that he’s been in. He votes more with Nancy Pelosi than he ever votes with me. It’s a question whether he’s even in our Republican conference as a whole.”
House Minority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise stated he “strongly disagreed” with Amash while the Republican North Carolina Rep. Mark Walker compared Sen. Bernie Sanders with Amash.
President Trump also criticized Rep. Justin Amash on Twitter in May.
“Never a fan of Justin Amash, 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,” Trump wrote on May 19.
President Trump on May 20 said Justin Amash may be looking to run for higher office by accusing the president of engaging in impeachable conduct.
“I’ve known him and he’s been against Trump from the beginning,” the president told reporters outside the White House when asked about Amash’s comments.
“He probably wants to run for some other office,” he continued. “I don’t think he’ll do very well. He’s been a loser for a long time. Rarely votes for Republicans, and personally I think he’s not much.”
Amash left the conservative House Freedom Caucus last month.