Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) is firing back at critics within his own party who slammed him for arguing over the weekend that President Donald Trump has committed “impeachable” offenses.
In a tweet storm posted on Monday afternoon, Amash issued a point-by-point takedown of all the arguments Republicans have made to shield Trump from impeachment.
“People who say there were no underlying crimes and therefore the president could not have intended to illegally obstruct the investigation — and therefore cannot be impeached — are resting their argument on several falsehoods,” Amash began. “In fact, there were many crimes revealed by the investigation, some of which were charged, and some of which were not but are nonetheless described in Mueller’s report.”
Amash then ripped apart the argument that you can only obstruct justice if you are implicated in an underlying crime — and he showed how the entire legal system could fall apart if suspects could get away with obstructing justice to thwart prosecutors from determining whether crimes had been committed.
“Prosecutors might not charge a crime precisely *because* obstruction of justice denied them timely access to evidence that could lead to a prosecution,” he wrote. “If an underlying crime were required, then prosecutors could charge obstruction of justice only if it were unsuccessful in completely obstructing the investigation. This would make no sense.”
People who say there were no underlying crimes and therefore the president could not have intended to illegally obstruct the investigation—and therefore cannot be impeached—are resting their argument on several falsehoods:
In fact, obstruction of justice does not require the prosecution of an underlying crime, and there is a logical reason for that. Prosecutors might not charge a crime precisely *because* obstruction of justice denied them timely access to evidence that could lead to a prosecution.
In fact, “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” is not defined in the Constitution and does not require corresponding statutory charges. The context implies conduct that violates the public trust—and that view is echoed by the Framers of the Constitution and early American scholars.