GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The DeVos family has pulled their support for U.S. Rep. Justin Amash, days after the Grand Rapids area congressman said President Donald Trump’s conduct was impeachable.
However, DeVos family spokesperson Nick Wasmiller said the DeVos family’s decision was based on concerns about a “lack of representation” and made “after a period of months.”
Amash became the first member of Trump’s party on Capitol Hill to accuse him of “impeachable conduct” stemming from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
The five-term congressman sent a series of tweets Saturday faulting both Trump and Attorney General William Barr, who Amash said “deliberately misrepresented Mueller’s report.”
Here are my 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. — Justin Amash (@justinamash) May 18, 2019
Amash told reporters on Capitol Hill Tuesday he is confident most of his colleagues haven’t read the report carefully like he did, which is why his comments came weeks after the report was released.
“I took my time to review it carefully and analyze it carefully and uh thought it was the appropriate time to make a comment,” Amash said.
The conservative House Freedom Caucus which Amash founded condemned his comments in a vote, but didn’t oust him from its ranks.
Longtime Republican and Kent County Commissioner Jim Saalfeld said he suspected Amash was pulling “nothing more than a media stunt to bring national attention” to his intention to run for president as a Libertarian.
“I’m not thinking about that now. I’m defending the Constitution. That’s my job,” Amash said Tuesday.
Wasmilller said he spoke for various DeVos family members, but not for Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who resigned her position with the family business when she took her Cabinet position. Her husband Dick, has chosen to cease contributions to federal campaigns. Neither have contributed to any federal campaign since.
Betsy DeVos is among the longest standing members of President Trump’s Cabinet, and she was an early supporter of Amash when he was a virtual political unknown. With her help, Amash won a five-way primary in 2010.
Two men have already come forward to challenge Amash in the primary — former Sand Lake Village President Tom Norton of Ada and state Rep. Jim Lower of Greenville. Lower moved up his plans to announce his candidacy after Amash’s weekend tweets.
Wasmiller said it’s tough to know if the family has picked another candidate to support because it’s so early in the process.
— 24 Hour News 8 Political Reporter Rick Albin contributed to this report.