Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) defended his calls for impeachment proceedings to begin against President Donald Trump, telling his supporters that Congress has a duty to “keep the president in check,” regardless of their political affiliation.
“I’d do it whether it was a Republican president or a Democratic president. It doesn’t matter. You elected me to represent all of you,” Amash, speaking at an event in Grand Rapids, said Tuesday. “Congress has a duty to keep the president in check … And I think we owe it to the American people to represent them, to ensure that the people we have in office are doing the right thing, are of good character, aren’t violating the public trust.”
Amash, who has long been a vocal critic of the president, is the only congressional Republican to call for Trump’s impeachment. Earlier this month he said he read the entire report produced by special counsel Robert Mueller and concluded that the president had engaged in “impeachable conduct.” Amash also leveled criticism at Attorney General William Barr, saying the man intentionally misled the public about Mueller’s findings in an effort to downplay the report.
“Contrary to Barr’s portrayal, Mueller’s report reveals that President Trump engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behavior that meet the threshold for impeachment,” Amash wrote at the time in a series of tweets. “In comparing Barr’s principal conclusions, congressional testimony, and other statements to Mueller’s report, it is clear that Barr intended to mislead the public about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s analysis and findings.”
The town hall on Tuesday, which ran for more than two hours, was the congressman’s first public appearance since he made his pronouncement against Trump. The lawmaker was greeted with applause and standing ovations during the event, and supporters largely said they’d stand behind Amash.
Others, however, questioned his party affiliation and said they could no longer support him, according to media reports.
“I’ve changed my position on you,” Anna Timmer, a woman at the event, told Amash, per Politico. “You’ve spent the least two years failing to do your job, which is to directly represent the popular will of your constituents.”
Two other Republicans have already announced their intentions to run against Amash in the next election. Trump himself has also attacked Amash personally, calling him 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.”