Michigan congressman Justin Amash becomes first GOP lawmaker to call for impeachment

(CBS) U.S. Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan on Saturday became the first Republican lawmaker to say President Trump had "engaged in impeachable conduct." In a series of tweets, Amash wrote he had read the full report by special counsel Robert Mueller and had concluded there is a "threshold for impeachment."

"Under our Constitution, the president 'shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors,'" Amash wrote Saturday. "While 'high Crimes and Misdemeanors' is not defined, the context implies conduct that violates the public trust."

Amash also wrote that impeachment does not require "probable cause" has been committed, but rather "simply requires a finding that an official has engaged in careless, abusive, corrupt or otherwise dishonorable conduct."

After Mueller concluded his report in mid-March, Attorney General William Barr released a four-page summary, which Amash said "deliberately misrepresented" the full 448-page report. "Barr's misrepresentations are significant but often subtle, frequently taking the form of sleight-of-hand qualifications or logical fallacies, which he hopes people will not notice," he wrote.

Amash wrote that, contrary to Barr's initial assessment of Mueller's report, Mr. Trump had "engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behavior that meet the threshold for impeachment.

Congress, too, was not spared from criticism by Amash. He called out the partisanship of many lawmakers, saying they shift their perceptions "180 degrees" when discussing former President Bill Clinton and Mr. Trump.

"Few members of Congress even read Mueller's report; their minds were made up based on partisan affiliation — and it showed, with representatives and senators from both parties issuing definitive statements on the 448-page report's conclusions within just hours of its release," Amash wrote.

Amash, who has been described as the "new Ron Paul" due to his Libertarian beliefs, has broken ranks with the Republican party before — and especially against Mr. Trump, whom he did not endorse in 2016. Earlier this year, he was one of 14 Republican representatives who tried to override Mr. Trump's veto over an emergency declaration for the border wall. In March, Amash did not rule out running for president as a Libertarian in 2020.

Several of the Democrats running for president have called for Mr. Trump's impeachment.

Read the full tweet thread below: