Insider: Conservative group backs Amash as 'upholding his oath'

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News
Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich.

A conservative group is running ads in Rep. Justin Amash's congressional district urging voters to show support fohim after Amash became the only GOP lawmaker in Congress to back impeachment for President Donald Trump.

The group Republicans for the Rule of Law, which is headed by Trump critic and former Weekly Standard founder and editor Bill Kristol, is airing two ads on the Fox News show "Fox & Friends" in the Grand Rapids market for the next two days. 

The group is also designing print ads to run in a Grand Rapids newspaper, in addition to the broadcast and digital ads, a spokeswoman said. The advertising campaign in Michigan's 3rd District is expected to cost roughly $50,000.

"Our leaders all take an oath to defend and uphold the Constitution. It's a solemn agreement between the American people and those they choose to serve in government," Republicans for the Rule of Law said in a statement.

"Their party affiliation, personal ambition and desire for reelection all come second to that solemn oath. Rep. Amash is upholding his oath, putting the good of the country above smaller matters. Every politician should follow his example."

The ads don't mention Amash. One features three former Republican federal prosecutors discussing the "very strong case" in special counsel Robert Mueller's report regarding allegations of obstruction of justice against Trump.

The second ad urges lawmakers in Congress to protect American elections from foreign interference, using a clip from last week's ABC News interview with Trump in which he said he would accept dirt on political opponents from foreigners. 

Amash said last month he'd reached the conclusion that Trump obstructed Mueller's probe, and that his conduct was “obviously impeachable" after reading in full the redacted Mueller report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. 

"I say this as someone at odds with Amash on lots of issues important to me (and I think to him): All honor to Justin Amash, who has done so much today to set an example of constitutional responsibility and mature, civic discourse," Kristol reacted on Twitter at the time.

Since taking his impeachment stance, Amash has drawn primary challengers, and Trump is reportedly considering backing one of his opponents in an effort to boot the fifth-term congressman from office.

House GOP gets red MAGA hats

Michigan House Republicans are flush with Trump swag thanks to recent gifts from the Michigan Trump Republicans.

President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign popularized "Make America Great Again" hats with supporters.

The group gifted each of the 58 House GOP members with a red MAGA cap and birthday card to celebrate President Donald Trump’s birthday and Flag Day Friday.

Trump’s Make America Great Again slogan and the accompanying caps sporting the saying gained popularity during the 2016 presidential campaign and are a regular presence at conservative rallies and events. The president this week updated his slogan for 2020 to "Keep America Great."

The hats are a “lightning rod” that seldom fail to generate a reaction, said Meshawn Maddock, co-founder of Michigan Trump Republicans.

“Nothing better symbolizes Trump’s winning campaign than a red MAGA hat,” said Maddock, whose husband Rep. Matt Maddock, R-Milford, is serving his first term in the state House.

Agen departing VP's office

Jarrod Agen, who was chief of staff to former Gov. Rick Snyder, is leaving his job at the White House at month's end after more than two years with the Trump administration. 

Jarrod Agen

Agen is giving up his role as as communications director to Vice President Mike Pence to be vice president for communications at the defense contractor Lockheed Martin, the Washington Post reported this week. Agen also served for a time as Pence's acting chief of staff.

Agen worked for the Snyder administration starting in early 2014 as communications director and became the Republican governor’s chief of staff in January 2016. 

Agen previously served as a deputy press secretary for the Department of Homeland Security and as a campaign spokesman for former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Dingell gets posthumous award

The late Rep. John Dingell, D-Dearborn, was selected posthumously to receive a lifetime achievement award Thursday from the nonprofit Congressional Management Foundation. 

The organization, which trains lawmakers and staffers in best practices, distributes its Democracy Awards to honor non-legislative achievements and public service by members of Congress. 

In addition to Dingell, the late Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, will also receive a lifetime achievement award.