GOP Rep Justin Amash is out of House Freedom Caucus he helped found after his anti-Trump antics

GRAND RAPIDS, MI - MAY 28: U.S. Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) holds a Town Hall Meeting on May 28, 2019 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Amash was the first Republican member of Congress to say that President Donald Trump engaged in impeachable conduct. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
(FILE PHOTO by Getty)

Eight years ago Michigan Rep. Justin Amash stepped into office with the full backing of the Tea Party. Four years later in 2015, the same year that current President Donald Trump announced his candidacy for office, Amash helped found the House Freedom Caucus.

And now, another four years later, the formerly stalwart conservative turned anti-Trump zealot has chosen to quit the caucus and seemingly embrace his newfound left-of-center politics.

“I have the highest regard for them, and they’re my close friends. I didn’t want to be a further distraction for the group,” he said Monday to CNN after formally stepping down.

Amash’s demise began last month when he became the first and only “Republican” to come out in support of impeaching the president. In a series of stunning tweets posted around mid-May, he first accused Attorney General Bill Barr of misrepresenting special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia report and then asserted that, in his opinion, the report proves that Trump “has engaged in impeachable conduct.”


This stunning turnaround was admittedly a long time coming.

His transformation into a John McCain-esque “Republican” began as early as 2016, when he chose to not support Trump in the 2016 presidential election.

A year later in 2017, he became the first Republican to suggest the president had committed obstruction of justice. That same year he also voted against Kate’s Law and then voted against an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would have banned the Pentagon from wasting taxpayer money funding transgender therapy and surgery for transgender soldiers.

It was the beginning of the end for the once-celebrated “Republican,” a man who only two years earlier had joined 51 other members of his party in rejecting a short-term funding bill that would have funded then-President Barack Hussein Obama’s amnesty agenda.

But while his Republican peers in Congress had been willing to tolerate his annoying antics, his decision to smear Barr and adopt the Democrats’ push for impeachment last Month was the final straw.

“He is calling for our president to be impeached and he doubled down on it today. I saw that he doubled down on those comments saying the Mueller report indicated he should be impeached,” Michigan state Rep. Jim Lower, who recently announced that he intends to primary Amash in 2020, said last month during an appearance on FNC’s “The Ingraham Angle.”

“There is nobody besides Bob Mueller that would have loved to come out with that conclusion, and even he couldn’t come to that conclusion. It is completely ridiculous.”

“You know at this point, Justin Amash has more in common with Rashida Tlaib than he does the average Republican primary voter in the district,” he added. “So, we are going beat him on this issue, but we’re also beat him on the fact that in ten years in Congress, he’s gotten one bill passed and it was to rename a post office. Completely ineffective.”

He wasn’t wrong.


Lower also noted that Amash was “the only Republican in Congress to vote against funding for the border wall and [he’s] very weak on immigration issues.”

That however was incorrect. Amash was among eight House Republicans who voted against a stopgap government funding bill last December that would have provided $5.7 billion in funding for the wall the president seeks along the southern U.S. border.

Since coming out in favor of Trump’s impeachment last month, the Michigan congressman’s Twitter feed has begun to look no different than CNN’s highly partisan “Reliable Sources” newsletter.


Some believe he stepped down from the Freedom Caucus because he intends to run against Trump in 2020. What remains unclear is whether he’d run as a Republican or a Democrat.



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