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Trump tweets response to Amash's call for impeachment

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump took aim at Rep. Justin Amash on Sunday, calling him a “total lightweight,” after the Republican lawmaker broke party ranks a day earlier and said Trump engaged in “impeachable conduct.”

“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,” Trump tweeted on Sunday, while en route to his namesake golf club in Sterling, Virginia.

Amash (R-Michigan), a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, which is often aligned with Trump, became the first Republican lawmaker to openly state that Trump’s actions “meet the threshold for impeachment.”

Amash, who has previously been critical of Trump, tweeted Saturday that after reading special counsel Robert Mueller’s 448-page final report, he believes the “report reveals that President Trump engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behavior that meet the threshold for impeachment.”

“In fact, Mueller’s report identifies multiple examples of conduct satisfying all the elements of obstruction of justice, and undoubtedly any person who is not the president of the United States would be indicted based on such evidence,” Amash tweeted.

Mueller examined 10 episodes of alleged attempts by Trump to obstruct the special counsel’s investigation into Russian election interference, including Trump’s calls to fire Mueller, but the special counsel ultimately stopped short of issuing a legal decision on whether Trump violated obstruction of justice laws, citing a decades old Justice Department policy that bars the indictment of a sitting president.

Attorney General William Barr in a four-page letter to lawmakers last month said there was insufficient evidence produced by Mueller’s team to support any obstruction of justice charges.

Trump on Sunday repeated his long-standing allegation that Mueller’s work was tainted by investigators “who hated Trump” and said “Justin is a loser who sadly plays right into our opponents hands!”

Congressional Democrats have launched a series of probes into Trump’s finances and political dealings, but House Democratic leaders have been cautious about outright calling for Trump’s impeachment. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has said that impeachment is “so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), appearing on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” repeated Trump’s accusation that Amash — a self-described Libertarian, who has raised the possibility of challenging Trump in 2020 — is seeking attention.

“This is exactly what he wants. He wants to have attention,” McCarthy said.

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union,” said Amash made a “courageous statement” with his tweets, but he stopped short of endorsing the prospect of impeachment.

“As I read the report, I was troubled by it,” said Romney, who has also been critical of Trump in the past. “It was very disappointing, for a number of reasons. But it did not suggest to me that this was time to call for impeachment.”

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