Lone GOP congressman supporting impeachment bolts party
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.
U.S. Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, the only Republican in Congress to call for impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, said today he is leaving the GOP because he has become disenchanted with partisan politics and "frightened by what I see from it."
In an opinion article published in the Washington Post , on July 4, Amash said partisan politics is damaging American democracy.
"I am declaring my independence and leaving the Republican Party," Amash said. "I'm asking you to join me in rejecting the partisan loyalties and rhetoric that divide and dehumanize us."
Amash had been the only Republican in Congress to say Trump engaged in impeachable conduct, drawing the ire of many fellow Republicans and Trump. In a series of tweets on May 18 , Amash said that he had read special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
"Mueller's report reveals that President Trump engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behavior that meet the threshold for impeachment," Amash said at the time.
He was roundly criticized by fellow Republicans and withdrew from the Freedom Caucus of conservatives in Congress after the group disavowed his views.
Amash had filed in February for re-election in 2020 as a Republican in a race that has since drawn three primary challengers, his first intra-party challenge since 2014. Amash's chief of staff, Poppy Nelson, said Thursday that Amash plans to run as an independent.
Amash told WOOD-TV at a Grand Rapids parade on Thursday after announcing that he was leaving the party that he intended to "set an example."
"People need to stand up for what's right, stand up for what they believe in and be independent of these party loyalties that really divide us," he said.