GOP Congressman ‘Declares His Independence’ by Leaving the Republican Party

Rep. Justin Amash, founder of the House Freedom Caucus, announced Thursday that he was leaving the Republican party and becoming an independent.

In May, the Michigan lawmaker stunned the GOP by becoming the first – and only – sitting Republican congressman to call for the impeachment of President Donald Trump, citing “underlying crimes” revealed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the Russia investigation.

In a Fourth of July op-ed for The Washington Post, Amash said he’d become “disenchanted with party politics.”

“Today, I am declaring my independence and leaving the Republican Party,” he wrote. “No matter your circumstance, I’m asking you to join me in rejecting the partisan loyalties and rhetoric that divide and dehumanize us. I’m asking you to believe that we can do better than this two-party system — and to work toward it. If we continue to take America for granted, we will lose it.”

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Amash added that “the two-party system has evolved into an existential threat to American principles and institutions.”

Former allies give Justin Amash the kiss of death

Trump responded to the news by slamming Amash on Twitter as “one of the dumbest & most disloyal men in Congress.”

“Knew he couldn’t get the nomination to run again in the Great State of Michigan. Already being challenged for his seat. A total loser!” the president tweeted.

Amash’s impeachment call has elicited fierce backlash from Republicans and Trump loyalists.

In June, Donald Trump Jr. hinted that he would back Amash’s primary challenger. That same month, Trump supporters in Amash’s home state organized a “Squash Amash” rally outside the congressman’s office.

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Meanwhile, a Practical Political Consulting and MIRS survey conducted last month showed the libertarian congressman down 16 points to his primary opponent, Michigan State Rep. Jim Lower.

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