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Rep. Justin Amash: Don't Impeach Trump Just Because You 'Dislike' Him

The allegations against Trump are serious, Amash says. But impeachment, he adds, isn't something to take lightly.

KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS/NewscomKEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS/NewscomRep. Justin Amash, a libertarian-leaning Republican from Michigan, offered his take last night on the possibility of impeaching President Donald Trump. While impeachment proceedings and a subsequent trial in the Senate are constitutional, he wrote, the process should not be taken lightly.

On Tuesday, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was convicted on eight counts of tax and bank fraud. That same day, Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, admitted in court to coordinating with his boss during the 2016 campaign to pay several women not to talk about their sexual liaisons with Trump. On top of it all, Cohen's lawyer has said his client is willing to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe. Speculation has thus abounded that Trump could be impeached, especially if Democrats take back control of the House in the November midterm elections.

According to Amash, the allegations against the president should be "taken seriously." But before acting in a way that could affect Trump's tenure, Congress should wait for Mueller to release the results of his investigation into Russian election meddling:

Amash then cited Alexander Hamilton's Federalist No. 69, which suggests that the president cannot be criminally prosecuted while in office. "Before facing ordinary criminal liability, he first would have to be impeached, tried, convicted, and removed from office," Amash wrote.

While impeachment proceedings are constitutional, they're "reserved for situations that present substantial evidence of egregious wrongdoing by the officeholder," Amash noted. Disliking a president or disagreeing with his policies isn't reason enough:

Impeaching a president, he reminded readers is not the same thing as finding him guilty:

Amash concluded by saying he hopes "we don't get to this point." Still, "I think it's important, given recent news, that members of Congress share their thoughts on this matter with the people they represent."

The congressman's comments should not be taken as a sign of blind support for Trump. Just last month, Amash blasted Trump's joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, commenting that Trump "went out of his way to appear subordinate" and "spoke more like the head of a vassal state."

Photo Credit: KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS/Newscom

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  • Rich||

    While impeachment proceedings are constitutional, they're "reserved for situations that present substantial evidence of egregious wrongdoing by the officeholder," Amash noted.

    "Oh, and for situations that require serious distraction and solution avoidance."

  • ||

    And for cum stains. Those are high crimes.

  • Horny Lizard||

    It's just not possible to "overturn the election". Impeaching Trump still leaves Republicans in control of the Presidency. Cheaters win.

  • Sevo||

    Aw, did you lose?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Hillary the cheater finally lost.

  • perlchpr||

    "The electoral process should determine who holds the executive power." -Amash

    Hahahahahahahha, I wonder how much shit he's getting for that from the left.

  • Ken Shultz||

    If Nancy Pelosi doesn't hold a vote to impeach Trump, the Democrats in the House will replace her as Speaker with someone who will.

    She'll resist the progressives' urge to commit political suicide over this, but she doesn't really have a choice.

  • Tony||

    Meh. They're no doubt all on board with the concept of treating this issue very carefully. The commonfolk even seem to understand that impeaching Trump wouldn't improve the country by much.

    I dearly hope that we haven't fallen so far that only the approval of Sean Hannity himself will result in the well-deserved removal of this demented clown, but the reality of the situation is it comes down to whether a sufficient number of Republican senators have a soul. An open question at this point.

  • Microaggressor||

    So, if you have a soul you're a fan of Mike Pence?

  • Tony||

    Republicans presumably are, at least relatively. They should be quite used to dealing with Christ freaks.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    But how about if you really, really dislike him?

  • Sevo||

    "We don't impeach simply because we dislike a person or disagree with his policies."

    Hey, this guy's some sort of trumpista!

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    Why else would they impeach him?

    Not joking. Yeah, I know the Civics 101 version of the story, where our noble legislators always act for the good of the people. Uh-huh. Folks in Hell get ice water every day, too.

    Shit, that's why Clinton was impeached when you cut away the bullshit.

  • I can't even||

    The allegations against Trump are serious

    Are they? Which ones are serious?

  • Rich||

    "Serial! I meant 'serial'!"

  • Bob Meyer||

    If the Blue Wave happens, Trump will be impeached by the House and convicted in the Senate. But the Democrats won't hold 67 seats you say? The Republicans would far prefer Pence to Trump so don't count on the Senate. The Republicans will "reluctantly do the right thing", acknowledge Trump's "crimes" and dump Trump.

  • Homple||

    "The Republicans would far prefer Pence to Trump so don't count on the Senate. The Republicans will "reluctantly do the right thing", acknowledge Trump's "crimes" and dump Trump."

    Thereby telling 63,000,000 voters to go fuck themselves.

    And then what happens?

  • UCrawford||

    Think again. Trump's sitting on a 90% approval process with Republican voters. He's moved the needle for candidates in multiple primaries and gets voters out casting ballots. His results have been fantastic. Any Senate Republican who crosses him by voting to convict will have signed the death sentence for their political career.

    You think they're going to throw that away for the gratitude of Schumer or Pelosi? You'd be delusional to believe it.

  • crufus||

    Trump will do the right thing and resign after apologizing to the American people for being a criminal and an ahole.

  • UCrawford||

    The right thing would be firing the Attorney General and Rosenstein, dissolving the special counsel, and ordering the Department of Justice to reopen the investigations into the Clintons and prosecuting the FBI plotters (Comey, McCabe, Ohr, Strzok, Page).

    I'm looking forward to after the mid-terms, because I suspect quite a bit of that is going to happen.

  • Tony||

    Because Jeff Sessions is protecting the Clintons.

  • Moo Cow||

    ...Blink...Blink...

  • LynchPin1477||

    I'm looking forward to after the mid-terms, because I suspect quite a bit of that is going to happen.

    Even if Republicans retain control of Congress, you're going to be disappointed.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Me too UCrawford.

    The Lefties are going to get violent when the midterms dont go their way, Trump does not get impeached, and all the
    Lefty co-conspirators (Hillary, Comey, Rosenstein, Brennan, Lynch, Steele) get indicted.

  • Sevo||

    "Trump will do the right thing and resign after apologizing to the American people for being a criminal and an ahole."

    Right after you apologize for impersonating a sentient being.

  • Dillinger||

    >>>Speculation has thus abounded that Trump could be impeached

    ooooooh. neat!

  • SchillMcGuffin||

    Since when has any human, much less an elected representative, had trouble rationalizing their dislike? Particularly a dislike that they're really, really emotionally invested in and socially bonded by?

  • Bee Tagger||

    I'm starting to wonder if Amash is too precious for the world he's chosen. I do mean that as a compliment, of course.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Rep. Amash's comments seem sensible.

    Trump supporters tend to be losers, bigots, and malcontents.

  • Sevo||

    "Trump supporters tend to be losers, bigots, and malcontents."

    Well, his haters tend to be self-righteous, ignorant assholes.

  • Bearded Spock||

    "Don't impeach Trump just because you 'dislike' him"

    I disagree; the House has the power to impeach the president whenever it wants, and for whatever reason 218 representatives believe fits the definition of "high crimes and misdemeanors".

    And no, we don't have to wait until 2020 to have this debate. Since a good percentage of the Left and even some of the Right believe Trump should be impeached, candidates from all parties should be telling us what their views on impeachment are so the electorate can make an informed choice this fall.

    When Amash says it's a bad idea to impeach Trump he's saying it in the sense that it would never get past the Senate at this point, and would just piss off people on both sides.

    But it's disingenuous and a cop-out for a member of Congress to say the House can't exercise its impeachment authority because the issue isn't "important" enough.

    If a substantial number of Americans believe their president should be impeached, then it's the House's job to do it and then let the Senate figure things out.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    Exactly. The fact that there aren't sufficient votes to convict in the Senate today is no excuse. There's a process; use it! Make a case.

    I have never seen the rule in the Constitution that says if the outcome of a debate isn't guaranteed ahead of time the debate can't happen.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Amash then cited Alexander Hamilton's Federalist No. 69, which suggests that the president cannot be criminally prosecuted while in office.

    Put it to music and have an elderly Chinese woman in the role of Hamilton sing it on stage and then maybe I'll listen.

  • Bee Tagger||

    Finally give Pence something to boo.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    What allegations?

    Trump is cleaner than Justin Amash is. Trump has had every deep state bureaucrat, FBI agent, British spy, Russian spy, and Lefty politician up his ass for 2 years and found zero criminal conduct.

    Any attempt of impeachment of Trump without actual high crimes is to be considered a coup attempt and will be dealt with swiftly.

  • Agammamon||

    You're weird.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Weird like a patriot Libertarian.

  • Intelligent Mr Toad||

    There is a VERY VERY GOOD reason NOT to impeach Trump.

    Two words, four syllables, rhymes with "fez-a-dent hence".

  • loveconstitution1789||

    That and Trump has done nothing wrong to deserve impeachment.

    Without a crime, impeaching Trump would mean you are favor of stopping the rollback of government, letting Lefties or Pence pick the next SCOTUS justice....

    It sounds like a stupid coup to me.

  • Agammamon||

    But impeachment, he adds, isn't something to take lightly.

    I don't see why not.

    Private business - shareholders (or the board) don't like a CEO, he's out in a heartbeat and a new one found.

    So, imagine Trump's impeached. Then the R's go crazy so the next D President is under the gun right from the start and can't get anything accomplished because someone's constantly trying to throw him out of office. Next cycle, the D's, furiously mad about the treatment of their team, reciprocate. Not seeing a downside here to total Federal government gridlock.

  • Agammamon||

    We don't impeach simply because we dislike a person or disagree with his policies. If you're unhappy about @POTUS, then don't vote for him in 2020. The electoral process should determine who holds the executive power.

    Again, why not? If a service I'm subscribing to gives me shit service I don't wait until the subscription ends to cancel. Sunk costs and all that.

    And isn't impeachment part of the 'electoral process'? Aren't we told that if you don't like a law, vote for the bastards who'll change it? How is this any different? Don't like the guy, so we voted for a bunch of bastards to get rid of him.

  • cc2||

    Not only is "collusion" not an actual crime, the payment of his own money to get 2 women to shut up is not a crime either. They couldn't even convict John Edwards on campaign finance violations. And no one seemed to notice that Obama paid rev Wright to shut up way back when. Trump would have had to use campaign money for it to be a violation. I saw an interview with Trump 2 days ago and he seemed to clearly understand this, which puts him above most lawyers and CNN pundits.
    And, if you want to see some blatant campaign violations, look into contributions to the Clinton Foundation from foreign governments over the period when she was sec of state and running for pres. I am pretty sure contributions to the foundation are almost 0 now--just a coincidence I am sure.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Trump put over $66 million of his own money into the campaign.

    He cant spend any of that on whatever he wants. I call bullshit on that.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    I don't think that Amash is libertarian *leaning*, he is clearly **libertarian,** no leaning about it.

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