May 19 (UPI) — U.S. Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan became the first sitting Republican in Congress to call for impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump; but Utah Sen. Mitt Romney told CNN’s State of the Union that he disagrees with Amash’s assessment.
Amash, whose district includes Grand Rapids, shared four “principal conclusions,” including that Trump engaged in impeachable conduct, after reading special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on his investigation into potential collusion and obstruction by Trump in relation to Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
He also concluded that Attorney General William Barr “deliberately misrepresented” Mueller’s report in his summary, while stating he believes partisanship has “eroded our system of checks and balances” and that few other members of Congress have read the report.
Romney, a Republican presidential in 2012, told CNN’s State of the Union that he disagreed with Amash’s assessment.
“I just don’t think that there is a full element that you need to prove an obstruction of justice case,” Romney said. “I don’t think impeachment is the right way to go.”
Romney added that he respects Amash and believes that his statement is courageous, but “the American people just aren’t there.”
“The Senate is certainly not there, either,” he said.
“Contrary to Barr’s portrayal, Mueller’s report reveals that President Trump engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behavior that meet the threshold for impeachment,” Amash wrote. “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.”
Barr released a 4-page summary of Mueller’s 400-page report in March, which stated the investigation found neither Trump nor any of his aides conspired or coordinated with the Russian government during the election, bud did not find significant evidence to exonerate Trump of obstructing justice.
A redacted version of the full report was released following criticism of Barr’s report and the House judiciary committee voted earlier this month to hold the attorney general in contempt of Congress for not releasing an unredacted version.
Amash said his review of Barr’s summary, Congressional testimony and other statements regarding Mueller’s report showed that bar “intended to mislead” the public about the special counsel’s findings.
“Barr’s misrepresentations are significant but often subtle, frequently taking the form of sleight-of-hand qualifications or logical fallacies, which he hopes people will not notice,” he wrote.
Amash, 39, has represented the third congressional district since 2011.
Trump responded to Amash on Sunday on Twitter, accusing him of presenting opposition to the president “just for the sake of getting his name out there through controversy,” while again maintaining that he did not commit any collusion or obstruction.
Several Democrats, including 2020 presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, have weighed the idea of seeking impeachment proceedings against Trump since the release of the Mueller report, but Amash is the first sitting Republican to do so.