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Amash Calls Trump Offenses Impeachable, Lower Hints At Challenge

U.S. Rep. Justin Amash tonight took to Twitter to say actions by President Donald Trump outlined within special prosecutor Robert Mueller's report are impeachable, while Rep. Jim Lower said his statements could not go unchallenged and implied he may be challenge Mr. Amash in the 2020 Republican primary.

Mr. Lower (R-Cedar Lake) has already bought a house near Greenville in the 3rd U.S. House District, which he did not live in originally, he told Gongwer News Service tonight. Mr. Lower does not have to live in the district to run for it, but living there would remove one immediate vulnerability. He said in an interview that his Cedar Lake home will go on the market this week. Mr. Amash's strong statements about impeaching President Donald Trump, who remains incredibly popular among Republican voters, makes him vulnerable to a primary challenge.

In an interview, Mr. Lower said simply "stay tuned" about challenging Mr. Amash. While he would not say that is his plan, he did say "we are strongly considering it" and his tweet speaks for itself.

"Here are my principal conclusions," Mr. Amash wrote this afternoon on Twitter. "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."

Mr. Amash (R-Cascade Township) continued that he made these conclusions after reading the redacted report from Mr. Mueller, who looked into the president's actions around colluding with Russian officials during the 2016 presidential election and obstructing justice in the investigations that followed. Mr. Mueller found no conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russian agents to affect the election but left open the possibility Mr. Trump committed of obstruction of justice during Mr. Mueller's investigation. Mr. Barr, who received the report, then declared Mr. Trump did not commit obstruction of justice.

In a series of tweets, Mr. Amash said the Mueller report reveals the president engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behavior that meet the threshold of impeachment.

"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," he wrote. "Impeachment, which is a special form of indictment, does not even require probable cause that a crime (e.g., obstruction of justice) has been committed; it simply requires a finding that an official has engaged in careless, abusive, corrupt, or otherwise dishonorable conduct."

Mr. Amash continued that due to partisan divides in politics, impeachment will be employed so infrequently by Congress that it will rarely deter misconduct.

Mr. Lower, in a tweet responding to Mr. Amash, said: "This cannot go unchallenged." He said he will have an announcement regarding the U.S. House district this week. Mr. Lower is in this second term in the House. Almost none of his 70th House District overlaps the 3rd U.S. House District.

While he said Mr. Amash's attitude toward the president is one element of his considerations in challenging him, he also said the fifth-term representative has not accomplished much.

"When you look at my work, there is a strong track record of accomplishment," Mr. Lower said. "When I put the two side by side, I had to strongly consider it."

And, Mr. Lower said, he does not agree with Mr. Amash's comments regarding impeachment. Mr. Lower also said he has not read the Mueller report. But, he said, he also was not a fan of the process and saw the report and investigation that preceded it as something conducted by those who oppose Mr. Trump.

Michigan Republican Chair Laura Cox did not immediately return a request for comment. However, during the evening she posted a photo of herself with Mr. Trump on Twitter with the line, "#NewProfilePic."

Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel chastised Mr. Amash.

"It's sad to see Congressman Amash parroting the Democrats' talking points on Russia," she tweeted. "The only people still fixated on the Russia collusion hoax are political foes of @realDonaldTrump hoping to defeat him in 2020 by any desperate means possible. Voters in Amash's district strongly support this president, and would rather their congressman work to support the president's policies that have brought jobs, increased wages and made life better for Americans."

U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit), a vocal supporter of impeaching Mr. Trump, tweeted to Mr. Amash, "Come find me in 1628 Longworth. I've got an impeachment investigation resolution you're going to want to cosponsor."

And former U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade, a Democrat who has been highly critical of Mr. Trump's conduct, tweeted: "Thank you for reading the Mueller Report, @justinamash. Your observations are the same as anyone who has read it."

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