What Amash's colleagues are saying about Michigan maverick

Melissa Nann Burke
The Detroit News
Rep. Justin Amash, R-Cascade Township, watches from the dais Wednesday, May 22, 2019, during a House Oversight and Reform National Security subcommittee hearing on 'Securing U.S. Election Infrastructure and Protecting Political Discourse.'

Republican Rep. Justin Amash faced constituents in Grand Rapids on Tuesday in his first town hall since saying he believes impeaching President Donald Trump is warranted.

Amash, a libertarian Republican and Trump critic from West Michigan, 10 days ago became the first GOP lawmaker to break with Trump after he finished reading the redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller's report. 

More: Amash challenges Pelosi to start impeachment hearings

Since that announcement, Amash has gained a GOP primary challenge from state Rep. Jim Lower, R-Greenville. Amash has also lost the support of the wealthy DeVos family, which confirmed last week it will no longer contribute to Amash's campaigns.

Amash, who has repeatedly bucked Republican Party leadership, didn't back down Tuesday, posting a 25-tweet statement criticizing Attorney General Bill Barr's handling of Mueller's report and slamming Barr's testimony before Congress. 

"Attorney General Barr has deliberately misrepresented key aspects of Mueller’s report and decisions in the investigation, which has helped further the president’s false narrative about the investigation," Amash wrote. 

Amash's colleagues in Michigan's delegation have had various reactions to his statements, which set off a storm last week on Capitol Hill: 

Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph

“He’s certainly entitled to his opinion. … He’s taking a tough stand, that’s for sure, within the Republican Party,” Upton told WHTC’s Morning News on Tuesday.

“Many of my folks are telling me — and I agree — let’s turn the page. Let’s confront the issues of the deficit, infrastructure, the Great Lakes and Iran and all these other things," Upton added.

"This has taken up a lot of time. We’ve spent tens of millions of dollars. The Senate with the rules that they have, of course, which would require a two-thirds vote —impeachment’s not going to happen. Let’s focus on getting things done over the next couple of months as we close in on the fiscal year.”

Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint Township 

“He's pretty consistent with his methods here, honestly. There are times when his conclusions are infuriating, and there are times when it makes sense. And it's only because we disagree with him that we often are infuriated. But the one thing you got to give him is that he's true to form. He just says what's on his mind. He's very deliberate about it,” Kildee told The Detroit News last week.

“A lot of people wondered, well, why now? You know, I've been I've been pouring through that report, and it's hard to make sense of it, especially trying to figure out how to read it with the redactions. It takes time to absorb, and so I think that's what he did.”

Rep. Paul Mitchell, R-Dryden

“Contrary to popular belief, within the party we don’t all think the same,” Mitchell told NBC 25 News.

“He’s entitled to his opinion, and he’s accountable to his voters, whether he’s effectively representing their interests. We’ll see what they think about it. That’s ultimately the opinion that matters.”

Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit  

"You are putting country first, and that is to be commended. We both took an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution. Please let me know if you are interested signing on to the resolution to begin the investigation into impeachment," Tlaib tweeted.

".@justinamash come find me in 1628 Longworth. I’ve got an impeachment investigation resolution you’re going to want to cosponsor."

Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Zeeland

"Every member of Congress has certain powers and certain responsibilities, and he’s made a determination — certainly different than my determination after looking at the evidence and weighing what is going on," Huizenga told "Michigan's Big Show" on 1240 WJIM last week. 

"The question I’ve got is, is he going to do anything about it then? But that is something he’s going to have to wrestle with. ... I just wish people would be more focused on the policy than worrying about getting into national media."

Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Holly

“It’s definitely the buzz of Michigan,” Slotkin told the Michigan Advance. “I think there’s no way to read the entirety of the report and not feel like this is behavior that’s unbecoming of a president,” she said.

“I think that we need to be judicious when it comes to an impeachment process, and I’m really worried that as we’re doing one half of our job of checks and balances on the administration, I don’t want to lose focus on the other half of our job, which is to legislate things that help people’s lives,” Slotkin added.