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GOP Rep: Trump Conduct Impeachable     05/19 08:47

   A Republican congressman from Michigan on Saturday became the first member 
of President Donald Trump's party on Capitol Hill to accuse him of engaging in 
"impeachable conduct" stemming from special counsel Robert Mueller's lengthy 
investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- A Republican congressman from Michigan on Saturday became 
the first member of President Donald Trump's party on Capitol Hill to accuse 
him of engaging in "impeachable conduct" stemming from special counsel Robert 
Mueller's lengthy investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential 
election.

   But Rep. Justin Amash stopped short of calling on Congress to begin 
impeachment proceedings against Trump, which many Democrats have been agitating 
for.

   Often a lone GOP voice in Congress, Amash sent a series of tweets Saturday 
faulting both Trump and Attorney General William Barr over Mueller's report. 
Mueller wrapped the investigation and submitted his report to Barr in late 
March. Barr then released a summary of Mueller's "principal conclusions" and 
released a redacted version of the report in April.

   Mueller found no criminal conspiracy between Trump's presidential campaign 
and Russia, but left open the question of whether Trump acted in ways that were 
meant to obstruct the investigation. Barr later said there was insufficient 
evidence to bring obstruction charges against Trump.

   Trump, who has compared the investigation to a "witch hunt," claimed 
complete exoneration from Mueller's report.

   Amash said he reached four conclusions after carefully reading the redacted 
version of Mueller's report, including that "President Trump has engaged in 
impeachable conduct."

   "Contrary to Barr's portrayal, Mueller's report reveals that President Trump 
engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behavior that meet the threshold 
for impeachment," the congressman tweeted. He said the report "identifies 
multiple examples of conduct satisfying all the elements of obstruction of 
justice, and undoubtedly any person who is not the president of the United 
States would be indicted based on such evidence."

   The Justice Department, which Barr leads, operates under guidelines that 
discourage the indictment of a sitting president.

   A representative for Amash did not immediately respond to an email request 
to speak with the congressman.

   Trump and Republican lawmakers generally view the matter as "case closed," 
as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., recently declared on the 
floor of the Senate.

   On the other hand, Democrats who control the House are locked in a bitter 
standoff with the White House as it ignores lawmakers' requests for the more 
complete version of Mueller's report, the underlying evidence and witness 
testimony. Some Democrats wants the House to open impeachment hearings, but 
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has resisted, saying impeachment must be 
bipartisan.

   Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., a freshman who opened her term by profanely 
calling for Trump to be impeached, applauded Amash.

   "You are putting country first, and that is to be commended," Tlaib tweeted. 
Tlaib is seeking support for a resolution she's circulating calling on the 
House to start impeachment proceedings.


(KA)

 
 
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