Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) has left the House Freedom Caucus nearly a month after he took to Twitter to suggest President Donald Trump should be impeached.
On Monday, Amash told CNN about his departure.
“I have the highest regard for them and they're my close friends," he said. "I didn't want to be a further distraction for the group."
On May 18, Amash posted a series of tweets critical of Attorney General William Barr’s reading of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s final report on whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election. In his first tweet, Amash stated his “principal conclusions”:
1. Attorney General Barr has deliberately misrepresented Mueller’s report.
2. President Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct.
3. Partisanship has eroded our system of checks and balances.
4. Few members of Congress have read the report.
Amash continued for more than a dozen tweets outlining his views on the report, its conclusions, Barr’s handling of the report, and the implications for Trump. As The Daily Wire previously reported, the tweet thread was shared by left-wing pundits, actors, and activists, cheering “Republican Congressman” Amash for his words, without any knowledge of Amash’s past votes and views.
Amash has always charted his own course in Congress. He doesn’t always vote Republican, according to Fox News, though he had 88 rating from the American Conservative Union in 2018. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), has criticized Amash for allegedly voting “more with [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi than he ever votes with me” and said: “You could have a bill with 400 votes all supporting it, there will always be one opposed and that is Justin Amash."
Amash has always explained on his Facebook page why he votes the way he does for each bill.
Amash faced predictable praise and backlash for his tweet thread in mid-May. A pro-Trump state representative in Michigan said days after Amash’s tweets that he would primary the four-term congressman. The House Freedom Caucus condemned Amash’s remarks shortly after they were made. Fellow libertarian Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) also criticized the tweets.
The Michigan congressman was also criticized by some constituents during a town hall event after posting his tweets. One woman, Anna Timmer, accused him of trying to raise his “national profile” and claiming an impeachment inquiry would “tear this country apart.” Another woman accused Amash of turning into a Democrat and drinking “the same Kool-Aid as all the Democrats.”
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), a prominent member of the Freedom Caucus, told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham that the decision for Amash to leave the group was a mutual one between the Michigan congressman and chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC). Jordan also said that Amash was still a friend to the group, but the disagreements had become “sharp.”
Amash did not immediately respond to a Daily Wire inquiry.