Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) received a standing ovation tonight at his first public event since becoming the first Republican to call for President Trump’s impeachment.
At a town hall in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Amash criticized House Republican leadership, including Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), whom he called the “so-called leader.”
“I read the Mueller report. I’m sure he didn’t read it,” Amash said of McCarthy. “He resorted to ad hominem attacks; that’s the kind of ‘leadership’ we now have in Congress.”
Amash takes a swing at his “so-called leader,” @GOPLeader, who had accused him of seeking attention w his Trump tweets. “I read the Mueller report. I’m sure he didn’t read it. He resorted to ad hominem attacks; that’s the kind of ‘leadership’ we now have in Congress.”
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) May 28, 2019
McCarthy has accused Amash of seeking attention with his remarks and told reporters Amash was “out of step with this conference” and “out of step with America.”
Amash reaffirmed his position that special counsel Robert Mueller’s report outlines impeachable conduct by Trump.
“I’m confident that if you read volume two, you will be appalled at much of the conduct. And I was appalled by it. And that’s why I stated what I stated. That’s why I came to that conclusion,” he said. “We can’t let conduct like that go unchecked.”
Amash, who has drawn a Trump-supporting primary challenger, said he was not concerned his remarks about Trump could cost him his seat.
Two GOP Trump critics, former Sens. Jeff Flake (Ariz.) and Bob Corker (Tenn.), retired in 2018, and another, former Rep. Mark Sanford (S.C.), was defeated in his 2018 primary.
While Amash declined to rule out a Libertarian Party presidential bid, he denied he had that in mind when he made the original comments.
Amash also faced criticism from the event’s audience, with one attendee in a “Make America Great Again” hat telling Amash, “I can’t tell you how disappointed I am,” but the majority of questioners expressed support for Amash.
This video gets to the heart of the Amash town hall: pic.twitter.com/PThqciSI8E
— Sam Easter (@SamKWEaster) May 28, 2019
Since his original comments, Amash has faced pushback and criticism from fellow Republicans, including Trump, who called him a “lightweight,” and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a fellow libertarian-leaning member of Congress, who said the Mueller investigation was “the antithesis of libertarianism.”