First GOP Lawmaker Announces Primary Challenge Against Justin Amash

House Freedom Caucus member, Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), speaks during a Politico Playbook Breakfast interview, at the W Hotel, on April 6, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Michigan State Rep. Jim Lower (R) announced Monday he will launch a primary challenge against Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) after the congressman accused President Donald Trump of engaging in “impeachable” offenses.

Lower was expected to officially launch his primary challenge around July 4th, but moved up the announcement in the wake of Amash’s remarks.

“Congressman Justin Amash tweets yesterday calling for President Trump’s impeachment show how out of touch he is with the truth and how out of touch he is with people he represents,” Lower said, according to the Detriot Free Press. “He must be replaced and I am going to do it.”

Amash fought off a primary challenge in 2014 from businessman Brian Ellis, beating him by 14 points.

Amash is facing intense blowback after firing off a series of tweets Saturday in which he claimed special counsel Robert Mueller’s report shows the president committed “impeachable conduct” and that Attorney General William Barr had mischaracterized Mueller’s findings.

“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,” tweeted Amash.

President Trump hit back at the Michigan Republican, referring to him as a “loser” and “total lightweight,” who had the remarks “for the sake of getting his name out there through controversy.”

Several Republicans came to the president’s defense, criticizing Amash for his controversial remarks. In an interview with the Fox News Channel, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA ) said Amash “just wanted attention.”

“You’ve got to understand Justin Amash. He’s been in Congress quite some time,” McCarthy said. “I think he’s asked one question in all the committees that he’s been in. He votes more with Nancy Pelosi than he ever votes with me. It’s a question whether he’s even in our Republican conference as a whole.”

House Minority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) stated he “strongly disagreed” with the Michigan Republican. Further, Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, who previously served as Michigan Republican Party chair, said of Amash’s remarks: “It’s sad to see Congressman Amash parroting the Democrats’ talking points on Russia.”

“Voters in Amash’s district strongly support this President, and would rather their Congressman work to support the President’s policies that have brought jobs, increased wages and made life better for Americans,” she added.

Unsurprisingly, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) broke with Republicans in offering praise for Amash, calling his statements “courageous.”

“I respect him. I think it’s a courageous statement,” Romney said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.

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