US President Donald Trump lashed out on Sunday at the first Republican congressman to call for his removal, while Democrats warned Trump’s stonewalling of congressional probes is strengthening the case for an impeachment inquiry.
Concise News reports that Trump called Republican Representative Justin Amash “a total lightweight” and “a loser” on Twitter, a day after the Michigan conservative said the Mueller report showed that the Republican president “engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behaviour that meet the threshold for impeachment.”
Amash’s criticism made calls in the U.S. Congress for Trump’s impeachment bipartisan, though just barely, with most Republicans still standing by the president at a time of economic growth, turbulent markets and global trade tensions.
Saying most lawmakers have not read it, Amash cited Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s 448-page report on Russian meddling in Trump’s favour in the 2016 U.S. election. On Twitter on Saturday, Amash said the report showed Trump had obstructed justice and added, “President Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct.”
A frequent Trump critic, Amash is a part of the House Freedom Caucus, a conservative faction. He has also signaled he would consider running as a libertarian against Trump in 2020.
Never a fan of @justinamash, a total lightweight who opposes me and some of our great Republican ideas and policies just for the sake of getting his name out there through controversy. If he actually read the biased Mueller Report, “composed” by 18 Angry Dems who hated Trump,….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 19, 2019
Counter-punching in his usual style, Trump tweeted: “Never a fan of @justinamash, a total lightweight who opposes me and some of our great Republican ideas and policies just for the sake of getting his name out there through controversy … Justin is a loser who sadly plays right into our opponents hands!”
Trump will have a chance to make his case to supporters on Monday at a rally planned for Montoursville, Pa.
Amash’s comments echoed the conclusions of many Democrats. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said that Trump was moving closer to impeachment with his stonewalling of numerous congressional investigations of him and his presidency.
Still, Democrats are divided about impeachment. With 2020 election campaigns heating up, Pelosi said impeachment proceedings would be “divisive” for the country.