Washington: Justin Amash, who recently quit from Republican Party, said on Sunday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was “making a mistake” in not starting the process of impeachment against President Donald Trump.
Amash, US Representative from Michigan, left the Republican Party on Thursday after he had publicly claimed that Trump had engaged in impeachable conduct, making him the sole congressional Republican to call for removing the President.
“From a principled, moral position, she’s making a mistake. From a strategic position, she’s making a mistake. If she believes, as I do, that there’s impeachable conduct in there, then she should say so. She should tell the American people, we’re going to move forward with impeachment hearings and potentially articles of impeachment,” he told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union”.
“When she says things like, ‘Oh, I think that we need to have the strongest case before we go forward,’ what she’s telling the American people is. She doesn’t think there’s a strong case. If she doesn’t think that, then she shouldn’t open her mouth in the first place and say she thinks there’s impeachable conduct,” he added.
Last month, Pelosi told CNN in an interview that the option of initiating impeachment proceedings against Trump is “not off the table”. However, she said that she continues to be against the process.
“I don’t think you should impeach for political reasons, and I don’t think you should not impeach for political reasons,” she had said.
Strongly batting for impeachment, Amash contended that there was a strong case against Trump following special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections and said that Pelosi believes the same too.
“I do believe there’s a strong case. I believe she believes there’s a strong case. And, if so, she should move forward and make sure that the American people understand what’s going on because people at home aren’t reading the Mueller report,” he said.
In April, Attorney General William Barr, on his part, had concluded that Mueller’s report established no conspiracy between Trump and Russia and that he and then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein did not believe its findings sufficient to charge Trump with obstruction of justice.
While many Democrats have called for impeachment proceedings against Trump, many members from the Republican Party have agreed with Trump’s assertions about the Mueller report and defended his conduct.
Amash said that there would be a “big problem” if Pelosi did not go ahead with the impeachment proceedings.
“Most people don’t have time to read a 448-page report. They expect their members of Congress to do the work for them. They want Speaker Pelosi to do the work. They want other members to do the work. And if she doesn’t want to go forward, then we’re going to have a big problem,” he further said.
In May, Amash had accused Barr of “deliberately” misleading the public over the actual content of Mueller’s report.