Today’s divisive political atmosphere has forced both major parties to rebuke and rebuild around separate central figures -- namely Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and President Donald Trump.
Most Democrats have trusted Pelosi’s word on strategy for 2020 and present dominance of the House, and many Republicans have assembled around President Trump and his questionable yet somewhat effective antics for securing power, especially in preparation for 2020.
A major talking point for each is the Mueller probe. Establishment Democrats, like Pelosi, have typically shrugged off the issue as antithetical to unseating Trump in 2020. Instead, they have preferred bread and butter issues, like infrastructure over the push for impeachment, likely because they have not wanted to feed into the narrative that they are engaged in a “witch hunt.”
Contrarily, the Republican camp refutes that President Trump has committed any wrongdoings whatsoever -- a laughable claim often followed with cries of “No Obstruction!” Much of the criticism that is directed at President Trump has been addressed on his Twitter and defended by pundits and colleagues alike.
Then came Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), who broke party ranks to voice a claim that even top Democrats have shied away from: that President Trump has committed impeachable offenses. Following his reading of the entire Mueller report, Amash, representative of Michigan’s 3rd district, came out with a statement that there were “multiple examples of conduct satisfying all the elements of obstruction of justice.”
His Republican colleagues, and Trump himself, were quick to counter this argument; Trump called Amash a “loser” and “lightweight” and several colleagues, including Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) pointed out the congressman’s history of bucking his party to “get attention.”
Following the dramatics over the weekend, Amash doubled down on his claim in a series of tweets and is now met with a primary challenger for 2020.
Amash made a bold move that might pay off within his district and with Democrats and Independents, despite his having a primary challenge and his funding being cut by the Devos family. As his colleagues have highlighted, he often strays from his party, and that has often been a premium for his re-election, regardless of funding. Further, it has pushed even Pelosi to suggest Trump is engaging in a “cover-up.” Amash has truly pushed the envelope, the effects of which are now being played out on the national stage as Trump has halted negotiations with Democratic Party leaders on even bipartisan issues like infrastructure.
It is interesting to note that it took someone from Trump’s own party to suggest impeachment after months of top Democrats growing tired and shying away from the issue. Mueller’s suggestion that further proceedings be played out in the House of Representatives may actually be fulfilled in the midst of Amash and Pelosi’s claims.
Many seem to think that Trump must be charged with a statutory crime or misdemeanor to face impeachment hearings, but Amash, in his series of tweets, has shown this is not the case.
Impeachment hearings may be on the horizon, and although I have typically shared the philosophy of Pelosi and other major Democrats that impeachment is a moot point and that the focus should be on organizing for 2020, I can’t help but take special note that a Republican congressman, from Michigan no less, has gotten the ball rolling on the issue once again.