Justin Amash Doubles Down On His Charges Against Attorney General Barr
Michigan Congressman Justin Amash doubled down on his assertion that the Attorney General was deliberately misleading Congress and the American public.
Michigan Congressman Justin Amash was back on Twitter late yesterday afternoon with another Twitter storm, this time going after what he contends is Attorney General William Barr’s misrepresentation of the contents of Mueller report:
Rep. Justin Amash, who earlier this month became the first Republican member of Congress to call for President Donald Trump’s impeachment, took aim at Attorney General William Barr on Tuesday — charging that the nation’s top law enforcement officer has “used his position to sell the president’s false narrative to the American people.”
In a 25-post Twitter spree, the Michigan lawmaker accused Barr of having “deliberately misrepresented” the findings of Robert Mueller’s investigation in a March 24 letter to Congress summarizing the special counsel’s findings.
Amash wrote online Tuesday that Barr’s letter “selectively quotes and summarizes points in Mueller’s report in misleading ways,” and asserted that “the public and Congress were misled” as a result of the attorney general’s initial four-page summary.
Amash admonished Barr for not complying with Mueller’s request — articulated in a March 27 letter from the special counsel to the attorney general — to release the introductions and executive summaries of Mueller’s report.
The congressman also blasted the head of the Justice Department for subsequently testifying before lawmakers that he was not aware of dissatisfaction among members of Mueller’s team with his handling of the report’s rollout.
“Barr has so far successfully used his position to sell the president’s false narrative to the American people,” Amash tweeted. “This will continue if those who have read the report do not start pushing back on his misrepresentations and share the truth.”
Amash on May 18 joined with many national Democrats in calling for Trump’s removal from office, writing online in a series of tweets that the president “has engaged in impeachable conduct.”
Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) on Tuesday doubled down on his accusation that Attorney General William Barr “deliberately misrepresented” the contents of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
The GOP lawmaker, who has sharply criticized President Trump and last week became the first congressional Republican to call for his impeachment, accused Barr of “selectively” quoting Mueller in the summary he released prior to making public the investigation’s full, redacted report.
“As a result of Barr’s March 24 letter, the public and Congress were misled,” Amash tweeted on Tuesday. He went on to accuse the attorney general of using “subsequent statements and testimony … to help build the president’s false narrative that the investigation was unjustified.”
In a lengthy series of tweets, Amash explained the argument he made earlier this month about Barr, joining numerous Democrats in slamming the attorney general and calling for Trump’s impeachment.
Weeks before releasing a redacted version of Mueller’s report to the public, Barr sent a letter to Congress detailing the top-level conclusion that Trump’s presidential campaign did not coordinate with the Kremlin to influence the 2016 election.
The letter also noted that Mueller had not reached a conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice by interfering with the probe itself and that Barr had decided not to indict Trump on it.
“Mueller’s report says he chose not to decide whether Trump broke the law because there’s an official DoJ opinion that indicting a sitting president is unconstitutional,” Amash noted Tuesday.
“Barr’s letter doesn’t mention those issues when explaining why Mueller chose not to make a prosecutorial decision. He instead selectively quotes Mueller in a way that makes it sound—falsely—as if Mueller’s decision stemmed from legal/factual issues specific to Trump’s actions.”
Here, meanwhile, are Amash’s Tweets, which need to be read in full:
In addition to this tweetstorm, Amash also appeared late yesterday at a town hall in his district at which he spent most of his time talking to constituents about why he came forward:
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — At the edge of the crowd, Diane Luke, wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat, stood up and informed Representative Justin Amash, Republican of Michigan, that she did not have the words to express her disappointment in him.
“How can you become a Democrat when we voted you in as a Republican?” asked Ms. Luke, a 57-year-old from Grand Rapids, as boos, hisses and heckles rumbled through the crowd on Tuesday at his first town hall-style meeting since publicly declaring that President Trump’s behavior had reached the “threshold of impeachment.”
Mr. Amash rebuked the accusation to the cheers of the crowd that packed the auditorium. “I haven’t changed,” he said. “I’m who I said I was.”
Since he first outlined his belief that the special counsel’s report showed that Mr. Trump “engaged in impeachable conduct,” Republicans nationally have lined up in opposition to Mr. Amash, a five-term Republican with a reputation for saying “no.” From his earliest days in Washington, Mr. Amash has been a marginal figure,consistently voting against both political parties, publishing explanations of his latest “no” on a Facebook page where he proclaims, “I defend liberty and explain every vote here.”
Principled, yes, even critics will concede. A thought leader in the Republican Party? No.
But in Mr. Trump’s Republican Party, no figure is too marginal to be ignored — and even the faintest spark of opposition must be snuffed out, doused, crushed and buried.
Since Mr. Amash concluded that the president “engaged in impeachable conduct,” the billionaire DeVos family, whose money has helped bankroll the Republican Party here for decades, said through a spokesman that it would not financially support the congressman. Two Republicans have announced they will run against him in next year’s Republican primary race. And the president called him “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.”
“He’s isolated and marginalized himself in D.C.,” said Jim Lower, a state representative who rushed to put forward his primary challengeafter
Mr. Amash’s initial flurry of tweets about the president’s actions.
But in Grand Rapids, his political stronghold, Mr. Amash’s boldness was still applauded — wildly. Political strategists and voters say this congressional district in southwestern Michigan may not only tolerate an unabashed and frequent Republican critic of the president. It might also demand it. Mr. Amash’s event on Tuesday served to underscore the voter dynamics that will ultimately dictate his political future representing Michigan’s third district.
There were voters angry over a perceived lack of loyalty to the party and those appreciative of a politician consistent in his views and votes. Attendees came in “It’s Mueller Time” shirts, a liberal cry of support for the special counsel, and red “Make America Great Again” apparel.
For a little over two hours, Mr. Amash fielded question after question about his analysis of the report and his legislative record, jousting with former supporters who lamented his refusal to toe the party line and calling for a respectful dialogue as audience members heckled at long-winded or controversial remarks.
One attendee fretted that Mr. Amash would lose re-election and the district would “miss out on a principled representative.” (Mr. Amash said that he was not concerned.)
In a reminder of Mr. Amash’s wavering political standing, hundreds crammed into the orchestra and mezzanine levels of the DeVos Center for Arts and Worship at Grand Rapids Christian High School, from which all four of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s children graduated. Auditorium employees estimated at least 800 people attended.
“He reminds me a lot of Barry Goldwater,” said Lon Johnson, a former chairman of the Michigan Democratic Party. “He’s consistent in his principles. You may not like those principles, but consistency is a principle lacking in our Congress right now.”
The coverage of Amash’s appearance by other media outlets was somewhat more positive. Politico, for example, characterized Amash as receiving a “hero’s welcome” from the crowd, while Talking Points Memo emphasized the extent to which the response from the crowd was positive. Other media outlets were similarly positive. On MSNBC this morning, for example, there was an interview with a woman prior to the town hall who identified herself as a Trump voter who didn’t understand why Amash was taking the position that he did. After the town hall, the same woman said that Amash had done much to convince her that he had reached the conclusion that Impeachment was necessary for good reasons and added that she had previously been unaware of many of the things that were in the Mueller report because she had gotten her information about it from Fox News. While this is anecdotal evidence, it is a hopeful sign that Amash is having even a small impact and that other Republicans will pay attention and have the courage to speak out as well.
I’m not optimistic though.