(CNSNews.com) – After Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) at the weekend became the first Republican lawmaker to publicly voice support for President Trump to be impeached, Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib invited him to sign up to her impeachment resolution.
“I’ve got an impeachment investigation resolution you’re going to want to cosponsor,” Tlaib tweeted, encouraging Amash to “come find me” at her office in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill.
In another tweet directed at the libertarian Republican, Tlaib said, “You are putting country first, and that is to be commended. We both took an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution. Please let me know if you are interested signing on to the resolution to begin the investigation into impeachment.”
In a series of tweets, Amash said that based on his reading of the redacted report on special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian election meddling, he believes that Trump “engaged in impeachable conduct.”
Mueller’s report stated that the investigation into collusion allegations “did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”
The report’s lengthy “part two” examined claims of obstruction of justice. It said the investigators were unable to say “conclusively” whether the president had committed criminal conduct in obstructing justice, and indicated that the U.S. Congress should be the body that determines whether that occurred.
Amash asserted in his tweets that the report “reveals that President Trump engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behavior that meet the threshold for impeachment.”
“In fact, Mueller’s report identifies multiple examples of conduct satisfying all the elements of obstruction of justice, and undoubtedly any person who is not the president of the United States would be indicted based on such evidence,” he argued.
Amash also accused Attorney General William Barr of having misled the public about Mueller’s findings.
‘Parroting the Democrats’ talking points’
The tweets drew sharp criticism from some Republican officials.
Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said on Twitter it was “sad to see Congressman Amash parroting the Democrats’ talking points on Russia,” adding that Trump’s political foes desperate to defeat him in 2020 were the only ones “still fixated on the Russia collusion hoax.”
From his home state, Michigan Republican Party chairwoman Laura Cox accused Amash of having opposed Trump’s “‘America First’ agenda every step of the way.”
“Now, in a desperate attempt to grab headlines and advance his own presidential ambitions, Amash is peddling a narrative that has repeatedly been proven false,” she tweeted. “Shameful.”
(Amash told CNN last March he has not ruled out running for the presidency in 2020 as a libertarian candidate. The Libertarian Party candidate in 2016, Gary Johnson, won 3.27 percent of the vote, the party’s best performance in 12 presidential elections.)
Trump himself dismissed Amash as “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.”
Amash’s Twitter thread led to energetic social media speculation about who would be the next Republican to break ranks.
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), who has been publicly critical of Trump, praised Amash but said he had reached a different conclusion with regard to impeachment.
“I respect him, I think it’s a courageous statement,” Romney said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday.
“But I believe that to make a case for obstruction of justice you just don’t have the elements that are evidenced in this document,” he said, referring to the Mueller Report.
“And I also believe that an impeachment call is not only something that relates to the law but also considers practicality and politics. And the American people just aren’t there.”
Romney also said those considering impeachment need to look at “the jury” – the U.S. Senate.
“The Senate is certainly not there either.”
Under the Constitution, the House of Representatives can impeach a president – by a simple majority of those present and voting – but removal from office requires a Senate trial, followed by a two-thirds majority vote to convict.
Tlaib, who made waves on the day she was sworn in last January by using a vulgar expletive in pledging to impeach the president, introduced her measure in March.
It calls on the House Judiciary Committee to “inquire whether the House of Representatives should impeach Donald John Trump, President of the United States of America.”
The resolution has seven co-sponsors. They are Tlaib’s fellow freshmen Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), as well as Reps. Al Green (D-Texas), Jared Huffman (D-Calif.), Filemon Vela (D-Texas) and Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.)