Rep. Justin Amash has his eyes set on a bigger battle against President Trump.
The Michigan lawmaker, just days after announcing that he was leaving the Republican Party, played shy when asked about his 2020 presidential aspirations Sunday.
“I still wouldn’t rule anything like that out,” Amash told host Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I believe that I have to use my skills, my public influence where it serves the country best and I believe I have to defend the Constitution in whichever way works best and if that means doing something else, then I do that.”
The former Freedom Caucus member said he currently plans to run for reelection to Congress as an independent, and that making a decision on running for higher office isn’t “on his radar right now.”
Amash, 39, made waves as the first — and only — Republican to call for Trump’s impeachment in May, citing “specific actions and a pattern of behavior” laid out in Robert Mueller’s investigation. The move, he claims, has been earning him applause behind closed doors from high-level party officials.
“I get people sending me text messages, people calling me, saying ‘thank you for what you’re doing,'” he said Sunday. “They’re not saying it publicly. And I think that’s a problem for our country, it’s a problem for the Republican Party, it’s a problem for the Democratic Party when people aren’t allowed to speak out.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Amash said, is taking the opposite approach by refusing to call for impeachment hearings.
“From a principled, moral position, she’s making a mistake. From a strategic position, she’s making a mistake,” he said on “State of the Union.” “If she believes, as I do, that there’s impeachable conduct in there, then she should say so. She should tell the American people, we’re going to move forward with impeachment hearings and potentially articles of impeachment.”
Pelosi argued in early May that impeachment would be “the easy way out” for Republicans who are “complicit in the special-interest agenda,” because they know the effort would “end at the Senate’s edge;” even if the article of impeachment passed the House, it would still have to receive support from two-thirds of the Senate, meaning at least 20 Republicans would have to cross the party line.
Last week, Amash declared his independence from the Republican Party, calling for the end to “partisan loyalties and rhetoric that divide and dehumanize us.”
“Great news for the Republican Party as one of the dumbest & most disloyal men in Congress is ‘quitting’ the Party,” Trump tweeted. “Knew he couldn’t get the nomination to run again in the Great State of Michigan. Already being challenged for his seat. A total loser!”
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