Over the weekend, Michigan’s Republican representative Justin Amash announced that he feels that the Robert Mueller report clearly shows that Donald Trump did obstruct justice, and has committed impeachable offenses. While Amash is sort of a “black sheep” in the party and has already said he may run against Trump for the Libertarian Party, Trump has felt safe from impeachment because Senate Leader Mitch McConnell has been so good whipping the Republican senators in line. In 1974, Richard Nixon felt safe in fighting impeachment—until Republicans turned against him.
Justin Amash is clear in his assessment.
“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, arguing that lawmakers have become too afraid of using impeachment to deter presidential misconduct.
“Impeachment, which is a special form of indictment, does not even require probable cause that a crime (e.g., obstruction of justice) has been committed; it simply requires a finding that an official has engaged in careless, abusive, corrupt, or otherwise dishonorable conduct,” Amash wrote. . .
“While impeachment should be undertaken only in extraordinary circumstances, the risk we face in an environment of extreme partisanship is not that Congress will employ it as a remedy too often but rather that Congress will employ it so rarely that it cannot deter misconduct,” Amash said. “Our system of checks and balances relies on each branch’s [sic] jealously guarding its powers and upholding its duties under our Constitution. When loyalty to a political party or to an individual trumps loyalty to the Constitution, the Rule of Law — the foundation of liberty — crumbles.”. . .
“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,” Amash said, adding that “Barr’s misrepresentations are significant but often subtle, frequently taking the form of sleight-of-hand qualifications or logical fallacies, which he hopes people will not notice.”
Another Trump foe thinks impeachment is not called for. However, Mitt Romney says Amash’s stand is “courageous,” according to NewsMax.
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, on Sunday called a GOP lawmaker’s decision “courageous,” when he said that the Mueller report found “impeachable conduct” by President Donald Trump.
Amash is not totally alone on the GOP side. A Trump staffer is also calling for impeachment, according to Business Insider.
This past weekend, George Mason University Law Professor J.W. Verret — who’s advised every Republican presidential pre-transition team for the last 10 years and served as counsel for Republicans on the House Financial Services committee — went viral on Twitter for stating that he supports impeachment after reading the Mueller report. . .
“Finished a second read through the Mueller Report. I don’t say this lightly, as a lifelong Republican, former [Republican] Hill staffer, and someone who has worked on every [Republican] campaign and pre-transition team for the last ten years. There is enough here to begin impeachment proceedings,” he wrote.
There’s also George Conway, husband of Trump’s advisor Kellyanne Conway.
“White House counsel John Dean famously told Nixon that there was a cancer within the presidency and that it was growing. What the Mueller report disturbingly shows, with crystal clarity, is that today there is a cancer in the presidency: President Donald J. Trump.
“Congress now bears the solemn constitutional duty to excise that cancer without delay.”
“A group called “Republicans For the Rule of Law” began as an effort to protect the Mueller investigation. Since the special counsel’s report was released, they have produced a few powerful videos.”
— Republicans for the Rule of Law (@ForTheRuleOfLaw) May 16, 2019
Some Republicans have stood up to Trump, at least in the past, including Lindsay Graham and Jeff Flake.
Senator Lindsey Graham was asked if firing Mueller would might warrant impeachment. “Probably so, if he did it without cause,” replied Graham, who explained that: “I think what the president will have done is stopped an investigation [into] whether or not his campaign colluded with the Russians, what effect the Russians had on the 2016 campaign. I can’t see it being anything other than a corrupt purpose. To stop [the] investigation without cause, I think, would be a constitutional crisis.”
The Mueller Report documented that Trump did attempt repeatedly to fire Mueller. The only thing that saved him was that his subordinates refused to obey. Does that mean if I hire a hit-man to kill my wife that I’m innocent if he misses?
Some lower level Republicans are not toeing the line, from Texas. . .
Texas State Representative Jason Villalba, a Republican from Dallas, has already seen enough to convince him that an accountability moment has arrived. . . he is arguing, as a proud Reagan Republican, that “if we do not stop this man now, today, over 500 days into his presidency, we will be equally culpable in what he has planned for our great nation. President Trump thinks you are a fool. He believes you will never abandon him. And he believes that that there is almost nothing that he can do that would cause you to abandon supporting him.”
And New Jersey. . .
A nationally-known Republican, former New Jersey governor Christine Todd Whitman, penned an op-ed piece in the Sunday Los Angeles Times that addressed her fellow Republicans with the message: “Trump is clearly unfit to remain in office.”. . . “We must put aside the GOP label, as hard as that may be, and demonstrate the leadership our country needs by calling on the president to step down.”
The Hill says if Trump were impeached, his conviction in the Senate would depend on 18 GOP senators.
Trump will be impeached if the Democrats initiate proceedings against him, but it is unlikely that he will be convicted. Eighteen Republican senators would have to vote against him to reach the two-thirds majority needed for a conviction.
The decision would be final if he is convicted. There is no appeal to the Supreme Court. . .
If I were advising Trump, I would encourage him to make sure there aren’t 18 Republican senators who might want to vote him out of office.
The point is, Nixon left office because Republicans turned against him. So far, most of the Republicans in Congress have stood with Trump. And it’s not likely that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would risk impeachment if it had no Republican support in the Senate. So Trump’s future is in the hands of Republicans.
Editor’s Note: This article is part 2 of a series on this topic.