Justin Amash says he’s still calling the issues as he sees them, from limiting the reach of government to impeaching President Trump.
The Republican rebel even pointedly still sits in the same seat in Congress near the middle of the aisle.
“I’m just a principled person who follows the Constitution,” he told the Washington Post. “I’m doing what I believe.”
Amash (R-Michigan) insists he plans to run for reelection next year even as Trump and his allies ramp up their attacks on the only GOP lawmaker to endorse impeachment.
The Tea Party conservative’s profile is rising because he is one of just a handful of Republicans to openly defy the president. He could also potentially run for president on a Libertarian Party ticket, which would give a political home to #NeverTrump conservatives.
Maybe that’s why Donald Trump Jr. picked a Twitter spat with Amash by warning him that he should be ready for a primary fight in 2020.
Amash, who is usually soft spoken, snapped back hard at Don Jr. by making a reference to his infamous Trump Tower meeting with Russian operatives.
Despite rumors of widespread Republican dissatisfaction with Trump, Amash has so far failed to attract any fellow Freedom Caucus members to join him in denouncing the president for obstructing justice in the Russia probe. In fact, he decided to stop attending the right-wing group’s meetings, even though he remains friendly with many members.
“The overall focus has shifted from a process-oriented caucus where we are trying to make sure that all the members are heard, to a caucus that is more about defending the administration,” Amash said.
Democrats know better than to cozy up to Amash on most issues. But they can count on him to listen when they accuse Trump of violating the law or trampling on his beloved Constitution.
Now that he’s persona non grata among Republicans, he often finds himself chatting with moderate Democrats like Seth Moulton (D-Massachusetts) and Katie Poster (D-California) who shifted toward his desk as the Democrats numbers have increased.
In typical Amash-speak, he warns not to read too much into the move.
“What’s happened is now there are more Democrats,” he told the Post. “So, naturally, there’s just not enough space. They come over to our space, it’s inevitable.”
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