- Thirty House Democrats are pushing party leaders to appoint Rep. Justin Amash, who recently defected from the Republican Party, as one of the impeachment managers in a Senate trial for President Donald Trump, The Washington Post reported Sunday.
- These lawmakers reportedly believe Amash could be an effective voice to make the case to conservative voters in a way Democratic lawmakers may not be able to.
- Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota, who is leading the movement to appoint Amash, praised the Michigan congressman’s qualifications and added he was “the first and only member of the Republican conference, when he was a Republican, to show courage.”
- Amash is a longtime critic of the president and has called for his impeachment several times.
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A group of 30 freshman Democrats are pushing House leaders to appoint Rep. Justin Amash, who recently defected from the Republican Party and became an independent, as one of the impeachment managers in a potential Senate trial for President Donald Trump, The Washington Post reported.
According to The Post, the group is led by Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota, and the lawmakers want the party’s top brass to tap Amash to bring some diversity and a conservative voice to the impeachment trial, which is expected to begin early next year if the House votes to impeach the president. They also believe Amash could be an effective voice to reach conservative voters in a way Democratic lawmakers may not be able to.
“To the extent that this can be bipartisan, it should, and I think including Representative Amash amongst the impeachment managers is a smart move both for the country, for the substance, and for the optics,” Phillips told The Post. He also praised Amash’s qualifications, telling the outlet the Michigan congressman was a lawyer and a constitutionalist and “the first and only member of the Republican conference, when he was a Republican, to show courage.”
Amash is a longtime critic of the president. Earlier this year, he called for Trump’s impeachment based on the findings in the special counsel’s Russia investigation, which examined 2016 Russian election meddling as well as the nature of links between the Trump campaign and the Russian government around the election.
It also looked into whether the president sought to obstruct justice when he learned of the existence of the investigation shortly after taking office.
Amash said that despite Attorney General William Barr’s misleading portrayal of the special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, Trump’s actions “meet the threshold for impeachment” and he most likely would have been indicted on obstruction-of-justice charges had he not been president.
In the end, it wasn’t Trump’s conduct outlined in the Russia investigation that led to impeachment proceedings but rather his actions related to Russia’s western neighbour Ukraine, a critical US ally that is in a war with Russia over its sovereignty.
At the centre of the impeachment inquiry are Trump’s efforts to solicit Ukraine’s interference in the 2020 election while withholding vital military aid and a White House meeting that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky desperately sought.
“If this were an ordinary prosecution, there’s no grand jury in America that would not return an indictment on the facts and evidence presented in these hearings,” Amash said when public impeachment hearings were underway last month.
Last week, the House Judiciary Committee passed two articles of impeachment against Trump. The first charged him with abuse of power and the second with obstruction of Congress. The full House is expected to vote on the articles Wednesday, and if they pass with a majority vote, the impeachment proceedings will move to the Republican-controlled Senate, which is widely expected to acquit the president.
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