This week, the full House is set to vote on and presumably approve formal articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. Their case against him includes charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — Trump infamously insisted at one point while facing a Democratic House majority that he would fight “all the subpoenas.” Now, major outlets are reporting that about thirty first-term Democratic members of Congress are privately lobbying for the selection of Michigan Congressman Justin Amash as manager for the House’s case when it moves to the Senate. Amash used to be a Republican, and now he’s an independent, and his leadership of the House’s case could severely and publicly undercut conservative complaints about supposedly missing due process and similar made-up issues.
Amash’s role as an impeachment manager could also strengthen the case in the minds of voters, who at present are about evenly split on the impeachment inquiry. A new Fox News poll put the pro-impeachment crowd slightly further in the lead, with 54 percent of voters overall in favor of the proceedings.
As The Post explains:
‘The thinking… is that Amash would reach conservative voters in a way Democrats can’t, potentially bolstering their case to the public. He also would provide Democrats cover from GOP accusations that they’re pursuing a partisan impeachment; Amash is one of the most conservative members of the House and a vocal Trump critic.’
Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) is leading the push for Amash’s selection. He commented:
‘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… There couldn’t be anyone perhaps in the entire U.S. House… whose general political views are as polar opposite from many of us in the Democratic Caucus, and that’s what makes it such a powerful statement: that on the issue of our responsibility to our Constitution, we are perfectly aligned.’
Although the Congressman has apparently “agreed to consider it if asked,” it’s unclear if he will actually be selected as an impeachment manager. The ultimate responsibility for the choice rests with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and she’s reportedly expected to announce impeachment manager choices in coming days. Considerations that could weigh against Amash include the fact that he’s on neither the Intelligence nor the Judiciary Committee, which have been leading the proceedings.
One anonymous senior House official told CNN:
‘It’s highly unlikely that the speaker would take this sort of risk when she has so many of her own well-qualified members clamoring for a spot.’
Going forward, Trump has already panic-tweeted about Amash previously. After his announcement that he’d be leaving the GOP, Trump tweeted good riddance to “one of the dumbest & most disloyal men in Congress.” More recently, Amash has already publicly chimed in about the impeachment process. He harshly denounced Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) as in violation of his oath of office for proclaiming he would not be an impartial juror in a Senate impeachment trial.