Rep. Justin Amash leaves Republican Party

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U.S. Rep. Justin Amash, R-Cascade Township, holds a town hall meeting at Grand Rapids Christian High School’s DeVos Center for Arts and Worship on Tuesday, May 28, 2019. The congressman came under scrutiny May 18 when he posted a series of Tweets to outline his support for impeachment proceedings. As such, he is the only Republican congress member to do so. The following days brought an announcement from the wealthy DeVos family about no longer supporting him financially. (Cory Morse/The Grand Rapids Press via AP)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WLNS/AP/CNN) – Justin Amash is now an independent that represents Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District in the House.

Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, the only Republican in Congress to call for impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, said Thursday he is leaving the GOP because he has become disenchanted with partisan politics and “frightened by what I see from it.”

Amash had been the only Republican in Congress to say Trump engaged in impeachable conduct and criticized by fellow Republicans when he withdrew from the Freedom Caucus of conservatives in Congress after the group disavowed his views.

“I supported Republican candidates throughout my early adult life and then successfully ran for office as a Republican,” said Rep. Justin Amash in an op-ed piece for the Washington Post. “Today, I am declaring my independence and leaving the Republican Party. No matter your circumstance, I’m asking you to join me in rejecting the partisan loyalties and rhetoric that divide and dehumanize us.”

At a town hall in Michigan after he announced his support for impeachment proceedings, Amash cited a section of the Mueller report that suggested Trump had told former White House counsel Don McGahn to create a “false record” denying he had asked for Mueller’s removal as special counsel.

Trump tweeted about Amash’s departure on Twitter, slamming him as “disloyal” and “couldn’t get the nomination to run again.”

In the Washington Post article, Amash did not mention the President by name, but his decision to abandon the party comes after months of escalating criticism not just of the President but of his own colleagues for their failure to hold Trump accountable.

In May, the five-term Michigan representative became the first sitting Republican lawmaker to join Democratic calls for an impeachment inquiry.

According to CNN, Amash’s break with his party adds fuel to growing speculation that he will seek the Libertarian Party nomination and launch a long-shot bid for president in 2020.

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