Libertarian Republican Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), after his recent calls to impeach President Donald Trump, is down by double digits in a Practical Political Consulting poll. Jim Lower, who said that he voted for Amash in 2010, 2012, and 2014, has been dubbed a “little-known” Amash “challenger.” That appears to be changing quickly.
Lower is primarying Amash from the right in 2020, hoping to unseat Amash in Michigan’s 3rd District; he already leads Amash by 16 percentage points (Lower, 49%-Amash, 33%).
2020 #MI03 Republican Primary:
Jim Lower 49% (+16)
Justin Amash 33%
Practical Political Consulting 6/5-9https://t.co/WCurOJYdDO
— Political Polls (@Politics_Polls) June 12, 2019
Lower, in case you missed it, specifically moved up the announcement of his House run last month to respond to Amash’s comments.
“I was like, I can’t let this go by without commenting on it,” he told the Greenville Daily News. “It’s not every day your Congressman says your president should be impeached.”
Proof that crossing Trump is political suicide in today’s Republican Party.
Amash already down 16 (!) points to a little-known challenger. https://t.co/igTmPSDDLu
— Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) June 12, 2019
Amash is the only Republican member of Congress to take a stand on impeachment after Special Counsel Robert Mueller handed in his confidential report. Amash composed lengthy Twitter threads on a few occasions to criticize the president, plus Attorney General William Barr for his his handling of the Mueller Report.
Amash said the Mueller Report shows that Trump committed impeachable offenses. For this, Trump lambasted Amash on Twitter and called him a “total lightweight,” but Amash only doubled down.
Amash criticized the “several falsehoods” in arguments made by defenders of the president. Amash highlighted four defenses in particular and responded to each. The defenses were: There were no underlying crimes; an obstruction of justice offense requires an underlying crime; the president can end any investigation he deems “frivolous”; impeachment requires a “statutory crime or misdemeanor.”
“People who say there were no underlying crimes and therefore the president could not have intended to illegally obstruct the investigation—and therefore cannot be impeached—are resting their argument on several falsehoods,” Amash began.
Amash also said that Barr’s four-page letter on Mueller’s “principal conclusions” was misleading. He said Barr “selectively quotes and summarizes points in Mueller’s report in misleading ways,” later adding that “Barr used further misrepresentations to help build the president’s false narrative that the investigation was unjustified.”
Amash repeated these criticisms last week, on June 7.
“As you can see from the attached tweet, I initially fell for Attorney General Barr’s March 24 letter of principal conclusions — but then I read Mueller’s report,” he said.
As you can see from the attached tweet, I initially fell for Attorney General Barr’s March 24 letter of principal conclusions—but then I read Mueller’s report. https://t.co/cBuatwNInE
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) June 7, 2019
Some opined that what is happening to Amash is precisely why other Republicans, though they may privately believe the Mueller Report was damning, will never say so publicly.
This helps explain why so few Republicans are willing to challenge Trump. https://t.co/EIyJB3A6gf
— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) June 12, 2019
[Images via Mark Wilson/Getty Images, Alex Wong/Getty Images]
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