Today, on December 18, 2019, President Donald Trump was impeached. After a long debate, the House ultimately voted to impeach Donald Trump. This was expected, since the Democrats had a majority in the House and this was all that was needed to impeach Trump. And as expected, almost all of the Democrats voted for impeachment and all of the Republicans voted against it. But there were some differences. One former Republican voted for impeachment, but everyone who is still officially a Republican voted against impeachment.
Justin Amash, Who Just Left the Republican Party in July, Voted for Impeachment
All the Republicans voted against impeachment except for Rep. Justin Amash. But in July, Amash actually switched his party from Republican to Independent. Amash is the House Representative from Michigan’s 3rd District. Michigan also just happens to be the state where Trump is holding a rally today during the impeachment vote.
Amash has been a representative in Michigan since 2011.
The day before the House vote, Amash tweeted about the proceedings. He wrote: “Conservatives will someday face the horrible truth that the Republican Party fought so hard to justify and excuse an amoral and self-serving president, and what he gave them in return was bigger government and erosion of the principles and values they once claimed to cherish.”
When Amash declared his “Independence” on July 4, 2019, he wrote a column in The Washington Post about his decision. He referenced George Washington’s farewell address and his concern about the dangers of a two-party political system, warning against partisanship. He then said that Washington’s fears came to pass.
Amash wrote in part: “With little genuine debate on policy happening in Congress, party leaders distract and divide the public by exploiting wedge issues and waging pointless messaging wars. These strategies fuel mistrust and anger, leading millions of people to take to social media to express contempt for their political opponents, with the media magnifying the most extreme voices. This all combines to reinforce the us-vs.-them, party-first mind-set of government officials. Modern politics is trapped in a partisan death spiral, but there is an escape… Today, I am declaring my independence and leaving the Republican Party. No matter your circumstance, I’m asking you to join me in rejecting the partisan loyalties and rhetoric that divide and dehumanize us.”
Then on December 18, a group of former Republicans announced that they were going to work together to help get Amash re-elected, The Hill reported. They created a Country Above Party Super PAC. They said they didn’t expect any elected Republicans or Democrats to join them.
It’s important to note that even if Trump is impeached today, that doesn’t mean he will be removed from office. A total of 67 Senators would need to vote to convict and remove the President. There are 45 Democrat Senators and 53 Republican Senators, plus two Independents who typically vote Democrat. So to reach the 67 total needed to remove Trump, they would need at least 20 Republicans to join with Democrats in voting to remove Trump (plus the two Independents). This isn’t likely to happen. More than likely, Trump will be acquitted and continue his Presidency and his 2020 campaign.
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