GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — U.S. Rep. Justin Amash has resigned from the House Freedom Caucus weeks after he became the only Republican to call for the impeachment of President Donald Trump, CNN reports.
The news was first reported by CNN’s Haley Byrd, who tweeted that Amash, R-Grand Rapids, told her he stepped down from the caucus Monday night.
“I have the highest regard for them, and they’re my close friends,” Byrd wrote that Amash told her. “I didn’t want to be a further distraction for the group.”
Rep. Justin Amash tells me he stepped down from the House Freedom Caucus and the HFC board tonight.
“I have the highest regard for them, and they’re my close friends,” Amash said. “I didn’t want to be a further distraction for the group.” — Haley Byrd (@byrdinator) June 11, 2019
In a series of tweets in May, Amash said Trump’s conduct during the special counsel’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election was “impeachable.” He said Attorney General William Barr “misrepresented” the special counsel’s findings, arguing the president did try to obstruct justice. He defended that stance at a town hall meeting in Grand Rapids two weeks ago.
The GOP wasn’t happy about Amash breaking ranks but didn’t oust him.
The conservative and libertarian Freedom Caucus exists separately from the GOP. Amash helped found it.
Amash, now in his fifth term, faces two primary challengers, one of whom moved up his campaign announcement after Amash’s impeachment comments. Amash has said those challengers are “not serious.” They disagree.