Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan turned heads last week when he became the first Republican to break ranks with his party and acknowledge that Donald Trump has indeed committed an impeachable offense. As it played out, we began to watch for signs of his sincerity – would he continue to criticize Trump? More importantly, how would his fellow Republicans respond?
It turns out they wouldn’t say much at all. Amash was threatened with a primary challenger, but doesn’t see it as much of a threat due to his being from a fairly moderate district – and Republican claims that Amash is a deep-cover liberal are nothing short of laughable, considering he’s a member of the Freedom Caucus and self-described constitutional conservative. To simply accuse everyone who opposes Donald Trump of being a deep-cover liberal, or some such outlandish thing, is only going to cause a further rift among the remaining Trump loyalists.
Amash not only came out swinging against Donald Trump, he also acknowledged what his Republican colleagues have refused to tell us: very few people in Congress have read the entire Mueller report. Now, Amash has taken to Twitter again to amplify his call for Donald Trump’s impeachment – in a thread over 20 tweets long.
What’s noteworthy about Amash’s new thread that sets him apart from token Republican opposition, is that he focuses on a point in the report that many Democrats have not yet talked about. We know that Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen were both criminally punished for lying during the investigation – and that Manafort sent polling data to the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, but the reason why has yet to be established. Putting these together, Amash speculates whether or not through his obstruction, Donald Trump may have actually been successful in covering up a conspiracy crime – and that he may yet be guilty of a crime that was not committed in plain sight.
Much of the controversy has been an argument about whether the acts we know Trump committed are enough to warrant an obstruction of justice charge. But Amash says the report suggests a consistent effort by Donald Trump to obstruct the Russia investigation while protecting his own legal interests. Donald Trump’s claim that he doesn’t do cover ups may have struck closer to home than we thought.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making