Rep. Justin Amash (R., Mich.) became the first Republican to call for the impeachment of President Donald Trump this weekend. There are ample grounds to questioning the existence of impeachable offenses. Yet, Sen. Mitt Romney (R., Utah) called Amash’s stand courageous. I agree that breaking from one’s party on an issue of conscience is worthy of respect even if one does not see the merits in the same fashion. However, President Trump stuck with his signature personal insults in calling Amash a “loser” who was motivated by a desire for attention. Once again, I fail to see why Trump engages in such unpresidential, low-grade attacks. It is not only demeaning to his office but ultimately self-defeating to his claims of innocence.
Amash tweeted that he had read the Special Counsel report carefully and concluded that Trump should be impeachment. He also attacked Attorney General William Barr as “deliberately misrepresenting” special counsel Robert Mueller’s 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.”
I have previously written that I disagree with the claims that Barr’s summary was false or misleading and recently testified in Congress that the contempt sanction against Barr was unfounded and unfair.
Despite that view, I accept that people of good-faith can disagree on these issues. Indeed, the impeachment claims have been strengthened by Trump’s refusal to heed continued warnings from both commentators and key aides not to threaten prosecutors, publicly comment on the investigation, or reach out to key figures like former FBI Director James Comey on the status or direction of the investigation.
He is continuing to do so. After the statement from Amash, Trump tweeted “Never a fan of @justinamash, 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.” He added that, if Amash actually read the report, “He would see that it was nevertheless strong on NO COLLUSION and, ultimately, NO OBSTRUCTION. Anyway, how do you Obstruct when there is no crime and, in fact, the crimes were committed by the other side? Justin is a loser who sadly plays right into our opponents hands!”
I have no problem with Trump’s references to the findings, though I wish he would stand aside from the debate. It is the personal insults and incivility that I find so troubling.
What do you think?