Justin Amash Departs House Freedom Caucus

Sanders Jett-Folk | United States

Rep. Justin Amash has officially left the House Freedom Caucus, the House of Representatives’ pro-liberty group of representatives. His departure follows several weeks of controversy after he stated that President Donald Trump has “engaged in impeachable conduct.”

What is the Freedom Caucus?

The House Freedom Caucus was formed in January 2015 by nine Republican members of Congress, including Amash. According to their Twitter page, the caucus promotes “open, accountable & limited govt, the Constitution & the rule of law, and policies that promote the liberty, safety & prosperity of all Americans.”

Two main events have separated the Freedom Caucus from the rest of House Republicans.

In 2015, Freedom Caucus members pushed for House Speaker John Boehner to resign. Caucus members stated that they had been punished by Boehner for not falling in line with the GOP on key legislation. As a result, Boehner withheld key committee assignments from members of the Freedom Caucus. After Boehner eventually resigned, he referred to the Caucus in a Vanity Fair interview as “anarchists” who “want total chaos.”

The Freedom Caucus made headlines once again in March 2017 for forcing former House Speaker Paul Ryan to withdraw the American Health Care Act (AHCA) by refusing to vote for the legislation. The bill was the Republican’s legislation intended to partially repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare). President Trump then attacked the Freedom Caucus through his Twitter. He claimed that the Caucus “saved Planned Parenthood & O[bama]care!”

Amash’s Call For Impeachment

After reading Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election, Amash took to Twitter to state that Trump had “engaged in impeachable conduct.”

Days later, the House Freedom Caucus formally voted to condemn Amash’s comments on impeachment. Rep. Jim Jordan, who is the current Vice Chair of the Caucus, told reporters that “every single member disagrees and strongly with the position Justin took over the week.”

Amash, however, did not back down. On Twitter, he proceeded to give examples of how Trump had obstructed justice, such as telling former FBI Director James Comey to stop investigating former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. He also referenced Trump’s asking Attorney General Jeff Sessions to reverse his recusal from the Russia investigation.

Since then, Amash has continued to state that “Mueller’s report is damning for the president.”

Amash’s departure of the Freedom Caucus comes as he is considering a 2020 Presidential bid. However, the potential bid could be under the banner of the Libertarian Party. In reference to a potential run for President, he stated that he “would never rule anything out.”

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