Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) has stepped down from the conservative House Freedom Caucus, weeks after becoming the first Republican member of Congress to publicly support impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.
Amash, one of the Freedom Caucus’ founding members, told CNN that he’d announced his resignation at the group’s weekly board meeting on Monday. He said the meeting had been a “positive” one.
“I have the highest regard for them, and they’re my close friends,” Amash said of the Freedom Caucus. “I didn’t want to be a further distraction for the group.”
Amash made waves last month when he tweeted his conviction, based on his reading of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, that Trump had “engaged in impeachable conduct.”
Top GOP leaders, including the president himself, condemned Amash for his views. The House Freedom Caucus also distanced itself from the congressman, with former chairman Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio telling Politico in May that “every single” member who’d attended that week’s meeting “disagrees with what he says.”
Amash told CNN in March that he’s stopped attending most Freedom Caucus meetings following clashes with members over their differing views on Trump.
The congressman has refused to back down from his calls for Trump’s impeachment.
“I’d do it whether it was a Republican president or a Democratic president. It doesn’t matter. You elected me to represent all of you,” Amash told supporters in Grand Rapids, Michigan, last month. “Congress has a duty to keep the president in check .… And I think we owe it to the American people to represent them, to ensure that the people we have in office are doing the right thing, are of good character, aren’t violating the public trust.”