GOP Representative Justin Amash quit the House Freedom Caucus on Monday in the wake of his remarks that President Donald Trump needs to be impeached.
Last month, Amash said on Twitter that the special counsel’s report indicates the President had engaged in “impeachable conduct,” accusing at the same time Attorney General William Barr of “deliberately misrepresenting” the findings of the investigation into Russian election interference.
Shortly after announcing his decision, Amash told reporters that although he held the members of the caucus, of which he was a founding member, in the highest regard, he “didn’t want to be a further distraction for the group.”
The Michigan representative has long been known for his frequent defiance of Republican leadership and of the President on various matters. But his impeachment comments were taken much more harshly and the conservative caucus uniformly made the decision to oppose his impeachment stance last month.
The House Freedom Caucus is made up of some of President Trump’s fiercest supporters in Congress, who have not even faltered as pressure from House Democrats mounts to impeach Trump.
Following Amash’s remarks, some members of the group even called for him to be removed from the conservative caucus, but he stayed regardless. However, Politico reports that the lawmaker stopped attending the caucus’ meetings this year and threatened to leave it when Trump attacked an HFC member, Representative Mark Sanford, last year.
At the time, Sanford was facing a pro-Trump primary challenge, similarly to what Amash is right now. He is facing two primary challenges in Michigan while being torn apart by the president on Twitter. Considering his falling out with Trump, Amash’s political future is highly uncertain as loyalty to Trump is often the recipe for success in the Republican party.
Speculations that the Michigan representative could challenge the President in 2020 have also been increasing lately, with Amash himself not ruling out the possibility completely.
“I’ve said many times, I don’t rule things like that out. If you’re fighting to defend the Constitution, if you find a way to do that that’s different and maybe more effective, then you have to think about that,” he said.