Justin Amash (left) earned the ire of Donald Trump (right) after calling his behaviour impeachable. (Reuters)
Donald Trump has taken Republican congressman Justin Amash to task, labelling him a “total lightweight” and a “loser”, after he called the United States President’s behaviour impeachable.
- Republican congressman Justin Amash said the Mueller report showed Donald Trump had obstructed justice
- Mr Trump fired back, saying the Michigan conservative had played “right into our opponents hands”
- Mr Amash has signalled he would consider running against Mr Trump in 2020
Mr Trump took to Twitter to launch the attack a day after the Michigan conservative said the Mueller report showed the Republican President “engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behaviour that meet the threshold for impeachment”.
Mr Amash’s criticism made calls in the US Congress for Mr Trump’s impeachment bipartisan, though just barely, with most Republicans still standing by the President at a time of economic growth, turbulent markets and global trade tensions.
Mr Amash cited special counsel Robert Mueller’s 448-page report on Russian meddling in Mr Trump’s favour in the 2016 US election, saying most politicians had not read it.
Mr Amash said the report showed Mr Trump had obstructed justice and added, “President Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct.”
Counter-punching, Mr Trump tweeted: “Never a fan of [Justin Amash], 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:
“Justin is a loser who sadly plays right into our opponents hands!”
A frequent Donald Trump critic, Mr Amash is a part of the House Freedom Caucus, a conservative faction.
He has also signalled that he would consider running as a libertarian against Mr Trump in 2020.
Mr Amash’s comments echoed the conclusions of many Democrats.
House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said Mr Trump was moving closer to impeachment with his stonewalling of numerous congressional investigations of him and his presidency.
Still, Democrats were divided about impeachment.
With 2020 election campaigns heating up, Ms Pelosi said impeachment proceedings would be “divisive” for the country.
No United States president has ever been removed from office as a direct result of the US constitution’s impeachment process.
The House of Representatives has impeached two presidents, but both were acquitted by the Senate.
The Mueller report, now at the centre of an escalating oversight battle between Mr Trump and House Democrats, detailed extensive contacts between Mr Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia, but did not find that there was a conspiracy with Moscow.
The report also described actions Mr Trump took to try to impede Mr Mueller’s investigation, but made no formal finding on the question of obstruction, leaving the matter to Congress.