Advance Notice: Briefs

Some Dems want Amash to play key impeachment role

By: - December 16, 2019 10:25 am
Amash and Trump

Justin Amash (left) and Donald Trump (right)

With a vote to impeach President Donald Trump expected in the U.S. House later this week, the president could find one of his harshest conservative critics acting as a prosecutor during the likely trial in the U.S. Senate. 

According to a report over the weekend in the Washington Post, a group of freshman Democrats in the lower chamber have been pushing for U.S. Rep. Justin Amash (I-Cascade Twp.) to be named as one of the prosecutors — or impeachment managers — in the trial, which would likely take place in the new year.

Amash is an attorney who’s long been a harsh Trump critic and was the first Republican to publicly back impeachment of the president — before he left the party this past summer. His office didn’t return the Advance’s request for comment on Monday.

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The decision to appoint Amash to the role of impeachment manager ultimately rests with U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and it’s unclear whether the Grand Rapids-area congressman would take such a role. His office did not respond to a request for comment on Monday morning. 

U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) is leading the push to make Amash a prosecutor in the trial, according to the Post report. 

“To the extent that this can be bipartisan, it should, and I think including Representative Amash amongst the impeachment managers is a smart move both for the country, for the substance and for the optics,” Phillips told the Post. 

The thinking, according to the Post report, is that Amash as a conservative independent could hold sway with Senate Republicans and move them toward a vote of removal. 

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However, Amash has a notoriously icy relationship with many of his House Republican colleagues and it’s unclear whether his arguments would sway members who have been steadfastly against impeachment. 

Still, Amash frequently uses Twitter to share his reasons for supporting the removal of the president and lambast his colleagues, such as U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), an ardent Trump supporter who said over the weekend that he expects impeachment will die in the Senate. 

“Senator Graham has chosen to violate his oath to support and defend the Constitution, his oath to do impartial justice in an impeachment trial, and his duty to represent all the people of his state, not just those who share his political views or desire a particular outcome,” Amash wrote on Twitter. 

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Nick Manes
Nick Manes

Nick Manes is a former Michigan Advance reporter, covering West Michigan, business and labor, health care and the safety net. He previously spent six years as a reporter at MiBiz covering commercial real estate, economic development and all manner of public policy at the local and state levels.